🇩🇪 Time Off in Germany

Alastair Samson
Alastair Samson
  • Updated

Oyster policy is denoted in purple.


Paid Vacation

The minimum amount of paid holiday per calendar year is twenty-four (24) calendar days. This number is based on a work week of six (6) days, and can be less if the work week is shorter than six (6) days. However, many collective bargaining agreements provide thirty (30) days of holiday per year for a workweek of five (5) days. It depends on the collective bargaining agreement. Holiday pay must be paid before the employee's holiday begins. Holiday is accrued at once at the beginning of the year. However, full vacation entitlement is acquired for the first time after six (6) months of employment.

Holiday must be taken and granted in the current calendar year where possible.  If not possible because of urgent operational reasons or employee sickness, for example, these days are allowed to be carried forward and used within the next three (3) months of the following calendar year. There is no limit or law that caps the number of days to be carried over.

For holidays to expire at the end of the calendar year, it is necessary for the employer to request the employee to take their holiday entitlement and to give clear and timely notice that otherwise the entitlement will expire at the end of the year. If the employer fails to provide this notice, the entitlement  shall not expire and shall be carried over to the following year.


Partial Leave

Employees are entitled to one twelfth (1/12) of the annual holiday for each full month of the existence of the employment relationship in which the employee:

  1. a) does not acquire full holiday  entitlement due to failure to meet the waiting period in that calendar year;
  2. b) leaves the employment relationship before the waiting period has been completed; or
  3. c) leaves the employment relationship in the first half of a calendar year after completing the waiting period.

The holiday  shall be granted consecutively, unless urgent operational or personal reasons make it necessary to split the holiday. If the leave cannot be granted consecutively for these reasons, and if the employee is entitled to leave of more than twelve (12) working days, one of the parts of the leave must include at least twelve (12) consecutive working days.

Oyster does not have a collective bargaining agreement.


Care Leave

Employees have a legal entitlement to family care leave. They can take partial leave for a period of up to twenty-four (24) months, during which they can work a minimum of fifteen (15) hours per week on average over one year to care for a close relative in need of care at home. The legal entitlement only applies to employers with more than twenty-five (25) employees, excluding trainees.

Additionally, parents are entitled to an allowance if they have to stay at home to look after their sick child. Parents are entitled to ten (10) days of children's sickness benefit per year and per insured child. Single mothers or fathers are entitled to more: twenty (20) child sickness days per year and per child. However, regardless of an employee’s number of children, he or she is limited to twenty-five (25) days per year, fifty (50) for single parents. The Covid-19 regulations increase those numbers to thirty (30) and sixty (60) per child allowed, with the limit of sixty-five (65) and one hundred and thirty (130), respectively. The Covid-19 regulation is in place until September 23, 2002.



It is mandatory for employers to provide 20 days (for five-day work weeks), though companies typically supplement this and 30 days is customary. 

It's customary to have policies and guidance in place for special leave and care leave. The employer is only obliged to pay wages insofar as the collective agreement or employment agreement expressly provides for it, or if the three points above are met.


Best in Class

A best in class employer would provide an additional 10 working days as extra-statutory leave.

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