After a series of successful interviews with a German company in Munich, I was first communicated a job offer through email with

Salary = X Base salary + Y(Yearly Bonus based on company's success or jährliche Erfolgsbeteiligung) to which I agreed.

Now, in the contract there is no mention of the provision of the year end company profit-based bonus.

I know it is not guaranteed that I receive it but shouldn't at least a provision for the year end bonus be mentioned in the contract?

Otherwise, I feel that the company might get away with not giving bonus, even when they are doing well, simply by stating that they never promised such a thing?

  • I'm not a lawyer (nor am I German) but "entitled to..." is at odds with everything the contract says. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 13:21
  • then how else would you define the ''when' and "how"?
    – Anirudh
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 13:32
  • recruiter.com/i/…
    – Anirudh
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 14:35
  • Normally, a bonus is not a required thing, and you even said this in your formula above ("no clear promises") and agreed to that. And apparently the German legalese says this as well but in many more words, so I don't really understand what you're trying to achieve here. You want them to guarantee a specific bonus? If you want help interpreting your contract language you should ask a local attorney. Also this should have been done before resigning from your current position; now you have no bargaining power, unless you want to act as if you haven't actually resigned yet.
    – Brandin
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 14:43
  • well I think ''no clear promises" got poorly phrased the no clear promise was no clear promise of the number. For me if they do not mention that there is a provision of a company profit based bonus then then might get away with no paying anything even when company is doing good.
    – Anirudh
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


Got my answer in the link below, I have decided to request the new company to add a mention of the provision of year end bonus to be on the safe side.



(First of all I'm no lawyer and this subject touches contract law in Germany.

I think in Germany there is something like contract through consistent action.

"betriebliche Übung" This is a specific german legal term and I don't think that the translation covers the same things in english.

So if a company payed a bonus 5 years in a row and in the sixth year doesn't you might have grounds for a lawsuit to get the bonus in the sixth year, too since the company created a contract in the 5 years before by paying the bonus.

With this phrase in your contract the company protects itself against the contract through action by clarifying their actions in a written contract.

The alternative to this snippet in your contract probably would be no bonus.

Edit: Before an edit there was a mention of a standart phrase that I have seen a couple of times if a contract has a bonus. Anyway the bonus should be mentioned in the contract. I wouldn't sign the contract how you paint it in your current edit

But don't be surprised if they keep this block to protect themselves

,,Die Zahlung etwaiger weiterer Gratifikationen, Tantiemen, Prämien oder sonstige Leistungen liegt im freien Ermessen der Gesellschaft un begründet kein Rechtanspruch für die Zükunft auch wenn die Gesellschaft solche Leistungen wiederholt und ohne ausdrücklichen Vorbehlat der Freiwilligkeit leistet(Ausschluss der betreiblichen Übung)"

(translation in his edits)

  • if the bonus is 'performance' or profit based. This question of lawsuit doesnt arise.
    – Anirudh
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 13:00
  • if it isn't communicated in the contract that the bonus is voluntary and performance based, for example if both of these parts are missing the term "betriebliche Übung" applies if the company just pays a bonus for some years. Also in Germany the "Arbeitsgericht" (labour court) would probably be responsible for this case so lawsuit might be the wrong word since lawsuit to me implies civil court. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 13:22
  • but again...thats not the point. The point is why isnt there a transparent mention of the conditional Bonus? at least ''when'' and ''why'' of it I know it could be that I get none but again no mention of it sounds fishy to me.
    – Anirudh
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 13:44
  • again: not a lawyer but the snippet you are mentioning is only there to protect the company against any claims that result from regular/planable payments. They might in a different part of the contract make clear when and how much they are paying. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 14:02
  • if it is once a year it is regular. if they payed it the last x years people tend to plan with it. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 14:07

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