Core Facts

  • Population:  81M
  • GDP:  USD 3.3 trillion
  • GDP per head:  USD 45,260
  • Workforce:  44M
  • Unemployment (2017):  3.9%
  • Average monthly wages (2017):  USD 4,131


Germany has a highly developed and highly regulated system of labour relations.  Designed to foster cohesion and avoid workplace conflict, German labour laws can nonetheless be complex and difficult to navigate.

Organisation of labour is very prevalent in Germany and the global business will need to understand the challenges and obligations it faces as a result of a German Works Council or the impact of  collective bargaining agreements, which often cover an industry as a whole and may operate at a regional or national level.  While the German system preaches consensus between employers and employees, the legal framework underpinning it ensures employment litigation is extremely common on termination of employment. Global businesses must identify the risks and avoid the many potentially expensive pitfalls that come with ending an employment relationship in Germany.