As an employee in Germany you have a number of basic rights, including the right to paid holidays, the right to receive wages during periods of illness and on public holidays and the right to protection against termination.
You enjoy protection against termination if your employment contract has been in effect for over six months and over ten employees work at the company. Termination must be socially justified, meaning that there must be urgent operational needs or there are reasons related to the personal character or behaviour of the employee.
Furthermore, you enjoy special occupational safety intended to protect you from bodily and mental harm while at work. Occupational safety includes preventative legal, organisational, technical and medical measures intended to provide protection from risks, damage, harassment and preventable burdens or stress. Occupational safety provisions are outlined in the Occupational Safety Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz).
Children and young people enjoy special protection from work that begins too early, lasts too long, is too difficult, puts them at risk or is unsuitable for them – for more information see the Act on the Protection of Young Persons at Work and the Ordinance on the Protection of Children .at Work (Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz and Kinderarbeitsschutzverordnung)
For questions about your rights or problems on the job, you can contact the Works Council (Betriebsrat) at your company or the trade union. If you would like to join a trade union, you can receive information about the various unions from the Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund – DGB).
As a worker, you also enjoy the right to maternity leave.