Changing the training place or quitting training

For some reason it might be the case that you wish to change your training company or you have to change it because of a sudden need to move to another place or something like that. Moreover, there are also trainees who want to or have to quit their training early.

Quitting training or changing the training place is a decision that must be thought through very carefully. You should not make this decision too early.

If you are facing language problems, if you struggle keeping up with training school or if you need support in any personal issues, you can refer to the abH (“Ausbildungsbegleitende Hilfe” that is funded by the “Bundesagentur für Arbeit” (Federal employment agency). For more information on the abH see School and Exams.

If you are facing health problems, such as allergies to any substances that you get in touch with during your working time or a physical or mental illness, you should consider changing the training occupation.

Due notice

A due notice (“Fristgerechte Kündigung”) denotes a termination of employment that keeps to the statutory period of notice of four weeks and therefore terminates the employment at the end of this period. In the case of a contract of employment of unlimited duration, you as the employee have the right of a due notice and your employer has the obligation to give you such a due notice.

During your training period, you have the right to hand in a due notice at any time. The employer cannot give you notice (terminate the training contract) without giving you a written warning (“Abmahnung”) beforehand that contains a statement on your neglect of duty. Usually, there are two written warnings preceding a dismissal, except for serious offences like theft.

Written warning

If the written warning is based on true neglects of duty on your side, you should take it serious and try hard to improve your behaviour. If you feel that the written warning is based on a misunderstanding of a situation or if it is not based on a profound reason, you are entitled to write a reply that proves the opposite. An example: Your employer cannot accuse you of making mistakes. You are a trainee and therefore it is fully justified that you cannot do everything right from the start.

Termination without notice

During your probation period, the training contract can be terminated without giving reasons and keeping to the statutory period of notice ( according to §22 Berufsbildungsgesetz – Vocational Training Act). After the probation period, you cannot be given a dismissal without notice, except for serious offences on your side, for example theft, repeated skiving off from training school, if you come late repeatedly or do not come at all without reporting sick.

Compromise agreement

A compromise agreement (“Aufhebunsvertrag”) is not a notice of termination or dismissal. Trainee and Employer terminate the training or employment contract by mutual consent. This means that a compromise agreement can only be written when both parties wish to terminate the employment. For example, if you would like to change the training company, a compromise agreement might be the easiest way in case your employer agrees on your leave. Keep in mind that you should not sign the compromise agreement before having found another training place. This prevents an unnecessary long wait. When you have once signed it there is no way back. If you plan to quit training, the common way is to hand in a due notice with a period of notice of four weeks.

Unfair dismissal

If you feel that your dismissal is illegitimate and unfair, you have the right to contradict within three weeks. After these three weeks, the contract of employment is terminated automatically.

Reasons for dismissals that are not legitimate and unfair could be:

  • A misunderstanding of a situation
  • A dismissal without any written warning beforehand (except in very serious cases, such as theft)
  • Accusing you for making mistakes (Making mistakes during your training is normal and legitimate to a certain degree.)

Employment law

The employment law (“Arbeitsrecht”) lays down all kinds of legal relationships between employers and employees by law. It settles rights and obligations of both parties in terms of salary, holiday, dismissal and others. The employment law consists of many single sources of law. Those are acts and laws that treat one single issue, such as termination of employment which is settled in the “Kündigungsschutzgesetz” (law on job security).

Make sure that you are made familiar with specific regulations about the termination of your training contract before signing the contract. Information on this must be provided in the contract.