Work certificates: Small change, big benefits

Until recently, on termination of employment, an employer was obliged to provide the departing employee with a work certificate (Arbeitsbescheinigung) to be presented to the employment agency. As work certificates are lengthy and can take some time to complete, this can create a major administrative burden for employers – which is often unnecessary as many employees do not apply for unemployment benefits.

A welcome change to sec. 312 of the German Social Code III (Sozialgesetzbuch III, SGB III) saves employers’ time and money: Employers are now only required to complete work certificates on the request of an employee or the employment agency. According to the German government, this small change will spare employers from filling out 3 million work certificates per year, saving employers EUR 44 million in administrative costs.