by Alan Simmons, September 2020

It can be said without any hesitation
Employees in Germany enjoy great protection
From dismissal and woe betide an employer which forgets
To comply with the Kündigungschutzgesetz.

The KSchG ** protects all employees
From being dismissed unlawfully
Unless the employer is able to found
The decision to dismiss on one of the permitted grounds.

Long term sickness is the first justification
Concerning the employee’s personal situation.
The second is the employee’s behaviour
Such as theft or other offences under criminal law.

Allowing the employer to dismiss summarily
The employee under article 626 of the BGB***
Without having to give a warning to the employee
Unlike for other misconduct such as persistent unpunctuality.

But beware, an employee drunk at work can’t lawfully
Be dismissed if his alcoholism amounts to a disability
Under the Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz ****
Such a dismissal would cause the employer lot of regrets.

A betriebsbedingt Kündigung or dismissal for operational grounds
Is the third justification which must be found.
There must be a Sozialeauwahl or social selection
To determine which employee least deserves protection
Based on the following four criteria: seniority in the company
Age, number of dependants and severe disability.

For the Kündigungsschutzgesetz to apply
Two conditions must be satisfied.
First, it must be absolutely clear
That the employee is continually employed here
In the Betrieb ***** for more than half a year.
Next, it must be established categorically
The Betrieb has more than ten employees.
However, according to a BAG ****** judgment in 2013
When determining that the threshold is achieved
We count agency worked regularly employed.

Whilst reading this poem you have seen
That dismissing an employee is complicated in Germany
The information in this poem is quite concise
But in no way constitutes legal advice.

* German Dismissal Protection Act
** Acronym for the German Dismissal Protection Act
*** Das Bundesgesetzbuch or the German Civil Code
**** Business operation or establishment
***** The Equal Treatment Act
****** Acronym for Der Bundesarbeitsgericht – The Federal Labour Court

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