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I have question regarding the current salary slips providing to my new employer. I tried to search for similar issue but they were either before getting an offer or before signing the contract.

I am working in Germany. I signed a employment contract for new full-time job and sent them back. I have resigned from my current employer as well.

Now they sent me a form to provide details of previous employers and salary along with salary slips. During interview process i mentioned my current package and benefits and I haven't lied but i feel this very uncomfortable. I don't understand why they need it? is it legal? How can i decline it without hurting professional relation?

Thank you!

  • "contract for new job" Meaning a full-time employment contract or did you do any of the jobs involved here as a contractor? – Lilienthal May 12 at 10:51
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    Sharing information orally and asking to sign the form with details along with salary slip are two different things! – Viju May 12 at 11:23
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    @BernhardDöbler I read this question before posting. That question was during interview process. My situation is AFTER signing the contract! Thanks anyway! – Viju May 12 at 14:29
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    I think in a situation like this I would politely but firmly send an email back to HR/whoever sent it that said something like "Excuse me, but why are you asking for this information? If there is specific data you need then let me know and I can provide it. Otherwise, I have a policy of not giving out this kind of information". – Kaz May 12 at 15:15
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    @TymoteuszPaul While talking about past salary is normal, actually checking it would be very weird. Asking me for a payslip outside of a loan application would be a major breach of etiquette, basically calling me a liar or trying to scam me later with the information obtained. Feeling uneasy when being asked for information that one should not have to provide is normal. – nvoigt May 14 at 11:37
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That information is not needed. It's not illegal to ask for it, but there is no legal reason to do so either. I have never had anybody outside government authorities and banks that give loans ask for a payslip in Germany.

What they do need is your social security number, your health insurance number and your tax id. That is a legal requirement because they are legally required to pay into those funds on your behalf. They also need your bank account to pay you. They may also need additional information like drivers license if you have access to company's cars or "Polizeiliches Führungszeugnis" (criminal record check) if you are working with minors. Employers do not need to know what you were or still are paid outside of their employment.

Maybe you misunderstood them and they didn't actually ask for a payslip, but for this information? Maybe they thought it would be easier on both you and them to ask for a payslip because it already contains the information they need?

You are under no legal obligation to provide your payslip to anybody. Period. Anybody who legally needs it (tax authorities) already got it electronically before you even had it in the mail. Obviously sometimes you want to provide it because you want a service and see their need to see it (loan application for example) and I guess sometimes you get asked without seeing the need. Never happened to me but you seem to have found such a rare case.

You should ask them what exactly they need from the payslip and if they say "the whole payslip" just act curious and ask them why.

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  • Right. my German is limited. "Bitte kopie der Abrechnung beilegen" is written in bold under the details of previous employment like date, brutto, type of job. Additionally there is space for 'Behinderung' as well, with same message "Kopie beilegen"! – Viju May 12 at 14:24
  • "Abrechnung" is bill or receipt, not paycheck. Are you sure this is about your payslip and not an expense report for interviewing ? – Hilmar May 12 at 15:04
  • @Hilmar I am beginner in German. I used dictionary but i took the meaning as per context. What meaning i could expect for bill/receipt under the details of employer, date, brutto and type of job? It would be great if any native speaker helps in this translation. – Viju May 12 at 15:12
  • To be honest it's very hard to translate anything that comes in bits and pieces without context. If you feel comfortable to do it you could upload a picture of the form or maybe just type in what's on the form, but to actually help you with the translation, we need to see the whole thing, not just single words. – nvoigt May 12 at 15:23
  • @nvoigt it would be not good idea to post picture but just imagine, details of previous employer, date from___ & to___ Name____, position____, brutto___ type of job (fulltime, parttime etc..) and then "Bitte kopie der Abrechnung beilegen". One more thing to comment from your answer, they have already dedicated page for social security/insurance/visa/bank details. so, asking salary slip for these details has no base. – Viju May 13 at 7:55
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Send an email back to HR/whoever sent it along these lines:

Excuse me, but why are you asking for this information?

If there is specific data you need then let me know and I can provide it. Otherwise, I have a policy of not disclosing private details about my employment".

Don't create an excuse (eg privacy) which they can try to counter or argue.

Just a simple "This is not something I do".

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    That sounds a little accusatory to me. Dropping the starting question altogether might make it less so for German ears. Just a factual statement, that's fine. – nvoigt May 12 at 15:26
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  1. Check your offer or contract from your new employer: are there any terms in there that require you to disclose this information?
  2. Check your offer, contract and specifically any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements from your previous employer: are there any terms in there that prevent you from disclosing this information.
  3. Check your local laws: Does that give any rules or guidelines disclosing this type of information? A local union representative might help. Apparently there have been some recent changes in Germany: https://www.zeit.de/arbeit/2017-12/transparenzgesetz-gehalt-einkommen-auskunft-kollegen-chef

Your response needs to be guided by the findings of the three items above. First you need to make sure that you are not violating any contracts, agreements or laws. Assuming this all comes back fine, you can try something like:

"I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that you required this information. My previous employer considered this confidential and I would prefer to not break their confidentiality expectations. Perhaps you can explain why you need this information and we can find an alternative way to address this issue".

Make sure you don't state anything that's not factually true.

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  • Given that OP already gave out details about his previous salary, trying to make it about privacy will likely make it look like lies. The time to make those concerns was when they initially asked about his income. Additionally, an employer cannot stop you from disclosing your salary, broadly speaking in employee-employer relations. – Tymoteusz Paul May 12 at 11:13
  • Why would they need this information after all, after they sent him a contract to sign? – Bernhard Döbler May 12 at 11:31
  • The Entgelttransparenzgesetz has no relevance for this at all. That law is about being allowed to ask what your colleagues of opposite gender in "comparable" positions make. It has no relation whatsoever to anybody asking what you made in a position at another company. – LokiRagnarok May 13 at 7:21

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