Don’t be scared of being fired: trainees can’t be fired without good reason!

Termination requirements are set out by law. There is a difference between an extraordinary, generally immediate dismissal and proper dismissal, where a notice period applies. Either party can terminate the contract with no reason and no notice during the probation period. After the probation period, termination without notice is only possible in serious cases.

Possible reasons for this kind of immediate dismissal could include:

  • Frequently and repeatedly coming in late, despite having been warned
  • Theft and other crimes during training time
  • Racist or national-socialist statements or actions
  • “Pulling a sickie”

If your employer has been aware of such serious circumstances for more than two weeks, they can no longer use them as grounds for immediate dismissal without notice. You can also terminate your contract without notice on serious grounds, such as if you are hit, bullied or sexually harassed at your workplace. Otherwise, you can terminate your training contract with a notice period of four weeks. Any kind of termination must be made in writing: if terminating after the probation period, a reason must be provided.

If you would like to continue your training in another company within the same industry, you can also end your existing training contract with a cancellation agreement. A cancellation agreement is not a termination! This agreement means that the trainee and employee agree to annul the training contract mutually. To put it simply: both contractual partners, the trainee and the employer, want to discontinue the training. A cancellation agreement can only happen when both parties agree. The date on which the contract is annulled can be decided by the two parties. There are no notice periods that have to be observed.

But watch out! If your employer asks you to sign a cancellation agreement, you are not obliged to do so. If your employer is making you a serious offer, you should be given time to decide and be able to take your contract home with you.

Get some advice about whether you should sign the cancellation agreement or not! Otherwise: don’t sign the agreement if you do not want to stop the training. One you sign a cancellation agreement, there’s not much you can do. It could also result in considerable disadvantages if you need to claim unemployment benefits e.g. a 12-week sanction.

 What can I do about unfair dismissal?