If you would like to change a job while working in Germany or if you would like to terminate the work contract in Germany, it is necessary to send or submit a signed resignation letter.
Notice period (Kündigunsfrist)
The notice period differs based on the employer. Not all the people in the company will have the same notice period. For example, your colleague may have a different notice period than you. So, it is better to check your work contract or contact your HR to get the exact details.
The most normal contract termination is two months or three months. It will be mostly mentioned in your contract like below.
- 4 Wochen zum Monatsende
- Zwei Monate zum Monatsende
- Drei Monate zum Monatsende, etc
It means you should submit the resignation letter before the month-end and serve the notice period of 4 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, etc as defined in the contract.
You can read about the official information from § 622 Kündigungsfristen bei Arbeitsverhältnissen.
You want to start your new job from 01 February 2022. The notice period is mentioned as “drei Monate zum Monatsende” in your current job contract. In this case, your resignation letter should reach the employer latest on 31.10.2021.
Receiver – To whom you should write
In general, you should write a resignation letter to your department head or directly to your HR. If you are planning to resign, it is better to discuss with HR before submitting the official resignation letter.
How can you submit
You can submit the resignation letter by a person or send a post. If you wish to send a letter instead of giving it directly it is better to send it as early as possible. Use the shipment tracking option from the post to make sure that your post has been delivered.
Once the employer received the resignation letter, you will receive the resignation confirmation of receipt (Kündigung Empfangsbestätigung). Some employers may directly give the resignation confirmation letter (kündigungbestätigung).
If you have sent the resignation letter and the employer received it late due to delivery issues, then the employer could let you work for one more month. So, do not wait till the last date to resign. It is better to submit the resignation letter directly by a person to avoid any delays.
Resignation letter details
To terminate the job contract or resign your job, it is also necessary to add some important details. It is good to follow the below structure so that you can include all the necessary information.
- Your details
- Employer details
- Last date of your work
- Reason for resignation
- Reqesting the resignation confirmation
- Requesting experience certificate
It is important to add the exact details of you as in your company official documentation. This includes,
- First and last names
- Personal number
You can find the above information from your salary slip (Entgeltabrechnung)
Requesting experience certificate
If you will stay in the same place after resigning from the job, then you can use the same sentence which is mentioned in the sample job resignation letter.
In case if you change your house after your resignation, then it is better to mention your new address in case if you know. If you don’t know your new address, you can also mention that you will communicate the information later through email.
Use the below sentence if you know your new address.
Ich bitte Sie, mir ein qualifiziertes berufsförderndes Arbeitszeugnis auszustellen. Bitte schicken Sie mir das zusammen mit meinen Arbeitspapieren an meine neue Adresse
Here is a sample job resignation letter in German.
There is an alternative way to get the post delivered to your new address without further communication with your employer.
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Sample job resignation letter (Kündigung)
First Name Last Name
Postal code Place
Date, Your place
Your landlord’s first and last name
Their Postal code Place
Kündigung meines Arbeitsvertrages
Sehr geehrte Frau ***Last Name***, – For female HR or department head
Sehr geehrter Herr ***Last Name***”, – For male HR or department head
hiermit kündige ich Ihnen meinen bestehenden Arbeitsvertrag ordentlich und fristgerecht zum nächstmöglichen Datum, spätestens am Samstag den 31.07.2021.
Ich bedanke mich für die gute und kollegiale Zusammenarbeit. Ich konnte viel in diesem Unternehmen lernen und bin für die stets angenehme Unterstützung sehr dankbar. Ich bedauere, aus persönlichen Gründen diesen Schritt tun zu müssen und wünsche Ihnen und dem Unternehmen weiterhin von Herzen alles Gute.
Bitte bestätigen Sie mir den Erhalt dieser Kündigung und das Aufhebungsdatum des Arbeitsvertrages schriftlich.
Ich bitte Sie, mir ein qualifiziertes berufsförderndes Arbeitszeugnis auszustellen.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
First Name Last Name
I have also uploaded the word document. Do not press enter or add text before the heading “Kündigung meines Arbeitsvertrages” because the template is suitable to fold and send in the cover. Adding text in a new line may misalign the letter and will not be suitable for folding. You can find a suitable cover below.
This letter template was prepared using MS word 2013. If you use any other version, kindly copy and paste the above text to eliminate the alignment error.
Reason for resignation
If you have a bitter experience with your employer or department, it is not good to mention it in the resignation letter. Write a general reason for your resignation or do not mention any reason. If you would like to convey the issue to your employer, then you can discuss it personally with your HR by booking an appointment. In most companies, you will receive an appointment to discuss the reason right after the resignation.
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