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Sample notice of termination for the employment contract

Termination - general

The formal termination of an employment contract has to be learned. Because there are legal rules of the game that you should definitely keep in mind. Formulation must also be learned. Accordingly, you should better keep your hands off creative formulations. Because even small formal errors can unintentionally lessen the termination to a declaration of intent or even make it ineffective - that was it with the timely departure. The best thing to do is to simply use our cancellation template as a template or stick with your text and content as closely as possible to this cancellation template.

The Termination during the probationary period Incidentally, is not comparable to a termination after the trial period has expired.

1. Termination by the employee

The most important rule when you quit: The termination of an employment contract must be in writing and signed in full name. Cancellation by email or fax is not valid. It is best to hand in the letter personally so that it lands on the right desk. If you send the cancellation online, you cannot check 100 percent.
Also note your Notice periods, which are anchored in the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) - that could save you a lot of trouble. Definitely have yours too Protection against dismissal on the screen, because your manager is not allowed to terminate you at any time. Those who know their rights have a clear advantage.

Checklist for your termination:

  • Letterhead: full name and address of you and your employer.
  • Current date
  • Subject line: The word termination, possibly your personnel number and the date on which the employment contract should end, must be in the subject.
  • Receiver: The notice of termination must be addressed to your supervisor, the managing director or the HR department.
  • Notice of termination: In the introduction it must be brief and concise that you are terminating the employment relationship.
  • Compliance with the ordinary Notice period: The letter must clearly state the deadline by which you are canceling.
  • Signature: The letter must be handwritten with your full name.

Confirmation of your letter of resignation

You should not only have the receipt of the letter of termination confirmed - for example by means of registered mail. The actual termination of the employment relationship should also be given in writing by the employer acknowledgment of receipt to confirm. The company regulates internally who is allowed to issue a confirmation of receipt. It is only important that the date of termination is confirmed on the letter. A company stamp is not necessary.

  • By the way: Does the employment contract require one Reason for termination, you should add this one.

Who should the termination be addressed to?

When the time comes, the question often arises whether the termination should be sent to the boss or the HR department must be judged. In general, the following applies: The recipient of the notice of termination is always the employer as it is referred to in the employment contract. In the public service it would be a district, state or a city or municipality. First and foremost, the personnel department or the main office or the superior is authorized to receive. The best thing to do is to write the company and department in the letterhead - the exact person is then no longer important.

What if the boss is on vacation or on a business trip?

Your supervisor is traveling and is not there exactly when you have to hand in your resignation? Don't worry, a solution can still be found. If your boss can't show up at work for a while, he still has to be available or one stand-in to adjust. In the second case, you should send your notice of termination to his representative, as he is authorized to receive as a representative. If there is no representative, you can send your resignation to the place where your chairman can be reached. Usually this is the company headquarters when he is on a business trip. If there is no other way and your boss is on vacation, you can properly send your letter to his whereabouts.

Termination of a fixed-term employment contract

If you have a fixed-term employment contract, it is usually not possible to give extraordinary notice prematurely - unless it is explicitly stated in the employment contract. If the contract is not extended, it will end on the agreed date without written notice. You can find out more about fixed-term contracts here.

  • Incidentally, a fixed-term employment contract may last a maximum of two years and be extended a maximum of three times.

2. Termination by the employer

The employer must also be certain Notice periods adhere to. Don't worry: you can't just be given notice without notice. The termination must also be made in writing and with a handwritten signature. The cancellation is not valid without a signature. If there is a works council in the company, your supervisor must first have the dismissal "approved". If he does not do this, the termination is invalid.

Termination in the event of illness despite a medical certificate?

Yes, even if you are sick in bed and can show a medical certificate, you can be dismissed. But: The reason for termination in the case of ordinary and extraordinary termination must be understandable. Your illness cannot always justify the termination. A personal termination is only effective, for example, if you have received negative attention due to significant absenteeism, for example. In this case, you can be terminated despite the Employment Protection Act.
The following applies in principle: In order to be able to give notice of termination due to illness, three requirements must be met:

  1. It has to be a so-called negative health prognosis are present. This means that prognoses must be made for other more predictable illnesses that show that you will not be fully able to work in the future.
  2. Due to the illness and the subsequent absenteeism, it has to be one Impairment of the employer's operational or economic interests come. In other words, there are continued wages or disruptions in operations.
  3. The Interests of the employer and employee must be weighed up, but the result must be in favor of the employer. An example of this would be that the employee can no longer work due to the cause of illness, absenteeism and employment relationships.
  4. The termination must mildest means be. The aim is to burden the employee as little as possible so that illness-related disruptions and the employment relationship can be minimized.

In individual cases you can benefit from the Employment Protection Act. But be careful: not every employee enjoys one Protection against dismissal. If you are terminated because of a disadvantage because of a disability, that is a violation of that General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). If an illness prevents the employer from participating full-time in professional life in the long term, dismissal is considered to be discrimination and is therefore also ineffective. Instead, your employer must endeavor to overcome your incapacity for work and prevent you from being unable to work again. This means that if you are sick for more than six weeks within a year, a will often come bEM (operational integration management) used to counteract future absenteeism. If there is no bEM, termination would violate the fourth requirement, as termination in this case would not be the mildest means.

  • Good to know: Since an illness is not considered a violation of the employment contract, you cannot be issued a warning in advance. After all, you can't help it if you get sick.

Change agreement, change notice or termination agreement?

If your employer wants to change your main performance obligations, such as your salary, your working hours or the place of work, it is definitely a Amendment contract to be signed by both parties. Even if your employment contract was initially limited in time, but your employer would like to extend it on different terms, an amendment contract is necessary. You should then have decided for or against the contract within three weeks. If you decide to make the changes, one will follow first Change notice of the previous contract and then the employer offers you a continuation of the employment relationship under changed conditions. In this case, your employment contract will be adapted to the new conditions. If there is a works council in the company, it must be included in the notice of change.

If you don't want to sign the amendment contract, one will come to that Termination notice through your employer. You can object to the termination notice with an action for protection against dismissal. Your period of action is three weeks in total. In the case of an action for protection against dismissal, a labor court then examines the effectiveness of the dismissal. You can find out more about protection against dismissal here.

Termination in small business

If the company is small, i.e. has ten or fewer employees, the Dismissal Protection Act does NOT apply. But: Your supervisor may not arbitrarily dismiss employees. For example, under no circumstances may he violate the general law on equal treatment. That would be the case if he dismissed staff based on skin color, religion or origin. You can also easily be terminated during parental leave. It also makes a difference whether someone has worked for the company for seven months or seven years or whether they have children. Employees with special protection against dismissal may only be terminated indirectly. A severely disabled person may only be given notice if the relevant integration office agrees.

It is also good to know that there is no need to give a reason for termination in the event of a termination in a small business. The notice period applies to low performers as well as to larger companies.

Termination during parental leave

Women may not be dismissed during pregnancy or on maternity leave. You can also enjoy one in the first eight weeks of parental leave Termination protection. For this reason, parental leave should be registered at least eight weeks in advance. If you register them earlier, your boss can fire you up to the beginning of eight weeks. Under no circumstances may you be dismissed during parental leave. Fathers may not be given notice during parental leave either.

A termination during parental leave is initially not possible. Only operational and economic reasons can lead to an extraordinary termination. Another exception is criminal offenses. However, your employer can terminate you in writing at the end of your parental leave at any time. In any case, the three-month period must be used here notice period be respected. Your boss does not have to give a reason for termination.

Release after termination

First of all, it is important to know that the employment relationship and the existing employment contract will continue to exist after the leave - after all, you will continue to receive your regular salary. Normally, an employee is only released after a termination, but there are a few rules that must be observed here as well. The exemption usually only exists for the duration of the notice period, lasts up to three months and corresponds to the remaining vacation or leisure time compensation entitlement.

A distinction is made between two types of exemption:

  • Revocable exemption: You can be called to work at any time during your leave of absence.
  • Irrevocable exemption: Your boss is no longer allowed to call you to work. However, if you still have vacation entitlement, your supervisor can offset the remaining paid vacation days against the leave of absence so that these are used up.

Vacation entitlement

Have you been fired and still have vacation days open? Don't panic, your employer is obliged to pay you the rest of the vacation days due to the vacation compensation. In the first half of the year you are entitled to partial vacation (one twelfth of the annual vacation for each full month of employment), in the second half of the year you are entitled to the complete minimum vacation. How much you will be paid depends on the average earnings in the past 13 weeks before the start of the vacation. Overtime is not included here.

What else on the topic termination could be of interest:

Termination during the probationary period
What are the reasons for termination?
Protection against dismissal
How to quit correctly: 5 tips
Terminated: severance payment

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Sample termination

Sabine Jahn

Musterstrasse 40

60385 Frankfurt




Model company

Eva Witte

Musterstrasse 1

01234 model town





Cologne, November 27, 2019




Termination of employment from ...



Dear Ms. Witte,


I hereby terminate the existing employment relationship with you from ... properly and in due time to ...

Please confirm the receipt of this notice of termination and the termination date of the employment contract in writing.


I ask you to issue me with a qualified job reference.

I would like to thank you very much for the cooperation and remain




With best regards


Sabine Jahn


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