What if my company experiences financial difficulties?

Training is subject to a special, protected contract that concerns learning a trade rather than carrying out work tasks. Due to this special situation, trainees can only be relegated to short-time work in extreme circumstances. If training is no longer possible, but you are able and willing to continue to work, your training salary must be paid for a further six weeks (§19 of the Occupational Training Act).

Even if a company is restructured and/or experiencing financial difficulties, this does not constitute grounds that would allow the trainer to terminate the training contract due to operational reasons. Only if operations are completely halted or so limited that training in your chosen career is no longer possible anywhere in the company can the training contract be terminated for operational reasons.

Even if insolvency proceedings are initiated or the business is declared unable to meet their financial obligations, there are still no grounds for immediate dismissal without notice. The same applies here: only if operations are completely halted or so limited that training in your chosen career is no longer possible anywhere in the company can the training contract be terminated for operational reasons.

In this case, halting or limitation of operations and insolvency via an insolvency administrator must be stated as the reason for termination e.g. by a comment in your reference: “Terminated due to shutdown”. The training contract, however, does not end immediately in the case of insolvency; a notice period of three months to the end of the month is required.

Your employment agency, union, IHK or chamber of trade can help you find a new training placement to continue your training. If you are nearing the end of your training, you can ask if you can bring forward your final exam.

In the case of insolvency, shutdown or short-time work: keep on going to work and vocational school. Do not sign any agreement that says you will waive your training salary to secure your training place. If you do so, you would have no claims against the insolvency administrator or to insolvency payments, which can be applied for from the Ministry for Work to cover your wages for three months.

Does that explain everything?

If not, simply get in touch with your local union with any questions you might have. You can also find plenty of helpful tips on the www.jugend-dgb.de website. You can get advice in our online forum, www.doktor-azubi.de.

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