Getting fired from a job might make you feel powerless, but luckily there are German laws to protect you.
We’ve all been there… You’re fired. Personally, I’ve been affected twice by the infuriating machinations of Berlin’s startup culture. Countless friends have, too. And the idea of German laws, paperwork, bureaucracy and the Arbeitsamt offers little comfort, especially in the wake of corona.
Legal jargon also isn’t the easiest to read in our own language, and in German Amtsprache it can seem impenetrable. What are our rights here? Does anybody actually know?
Lost your job? You could be entitled to severance pay
There are laws that make living in this country a blessing. While some (most?) of Germany’s legal system is designed to stop you ever having certain kinds of fun, some German laws are designed to protect the little guy – you.
These laws keep a roof over your head, your rent from rising out of your control and they also stop employers from dropping you at a moment’s notice without any regard to your future.
This isn’t neoliberal, hyper-capitalism (yet). Germany’s inhabitants are still treated with respect and dignity. This isn’t ‘nam either, man – there are rules.
Did you have a permanent contract? You could be entitled to money
There are plenty of hapless people working in Berlin’s startup scene (we’re looking at you, HR departments), who are either ignorant or blase about the laws that they’re supposed to adhere to. Maybe they didn’t read the small print on your contract. Maybe they’ve misused or misinterpreted Germany’s employment and contract law? Maybe they just made a bad (illegal) call in dismissing you.
If you had a permanent contract and were fired, a Berlin-based company called Mehrabfindung might be able to help you.
Mehrabfindung: fighting the good fight for your employment rights
Their service isn’t about why you were fired. It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do, or feeling bad about a decision. Simply, dismissals and forced-redundancies of employees with permanent contracts in Germany are often unlawful.
What Mehrabfindung will do is to investigate whether or not your firing was legal and negotiate the financial severance package you deserve as per German employment law.
It’s crucial to act quickly:
To use Mehrabfindung’s services, you had to have had a permanent contract. The company must have had at least 10 full-time employees. And, most crucially, you must file your complaint within three weeks of receiving your notice. That’s important!
How does Mehrabfindung work?
Mehrabfindung is a team of professional contract lawyers. Through their secure online portal, mehrabfindung.com, you submit your notice of termination and employment contract to their team, who will then investigate all small-print pertaining to your dismissal.
If they deem your termination to be legally invalid, their contract lawyers will approach your employer to begin negotiating you an out-of-court settlement. If this does not work out, they’ll go to court on your behalf.
Everything from their initial review of your case up to them negotiating you a settlement is free of charge. Once they have won you your settlement, Mehrabfindung will take 28% of the package as commission.
You won’t have to do anything. You won’t have to lift a finger or see or hear from your old employers again. Mehrabfindung will sort everything out so you can just regroup and focus on the next stage of your career. Hopefully with a payout to take the sting out of losing your job.
Find out if you’re owed money. Visit Mehrabfindung’s online portal here.