Until end of 2022 I worked for a company in Germany for quite some time, until I sent my resignation letter and decided to move on.

My contract was a "Tarifvertrag", which regulated also the compensation of the overtime, and in my case this amounted some a couple hundred hours. Also I had several holidays I didn't take as time off by the time I left the company.

On my last payroll, however, I saw no compensation for neither holidays or overtime, and I wonder if I should put pressure on the company to pay or wait until the end of January. Being an expat, I have no clue how these kinds of payments are regulated in Germany.

UPDATE: I asked for legal advice to a lawyer and they suggested I would send a registered letter to the company asking for payment within two weeks. I was about to finalize the letter when I received an email that assured me I would be paid within this month. I'm curious anyway to understand if this is "normal".

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    Did you ask them?
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 15:08
  • Fair question: yes I did reach out to them via (personal) email and I also tried via phone call. Since the beginning of January there was no answer (also fair, since it was holiday season) Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 17:35
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    Does "overtime" mean Überstunden (i.e., your boss officially ordered you to work more) or accrued hours on your flexitime balance (Gleitzeitkonto, i.e., you decided you need to work longer due to your workload)?
    – user29390
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 6:15
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    Btw., "a couple hundred hours" hints that you might have worked more than legally allowed. You might want to check that.
    – user29390
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 9:52
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    About the holidays - I am not familiar with the law but I also work in Germany and it seems highly unusual to be compensated for holidays you did not take time off for. That might have been something where it would have been your responsibility to not wait till the last minute to take holidays. Also, collecting 100s and 100s of hours of overtime ("Überstunden") is usually frowned upon and there are usually regulations to not take too much overtime. Before you put pressure on the employer, I would make extra sure, you are not in the wrong here. (members of the union get free legal advice, btw.) Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 20:12

3 Answers 3


This answer is from an Austrian perspective, but I guess the regulations are quite similar to Germany. The so called 'Abfertigung, Über­stunden, Ur­laubs­an­spruch/- geld, Weihnachts­geld' which remained unused/unpaid on your last day after serving your notice period should be payed in full with your last paycheck and be listed on your last payroll ('Lohnzettel').

The last wage (which has to include the above mentioned positions) is to be paid with the same due date as a normal wage in the employment relationship. This means that if there is no other regulation in the employment contract, then the statutory regulation, according to which the wage is due on the first day of the following month.


Employment contracts or collective agreements often contain expiration provisions, according to which outstanding claims must be asserted against the employer within a few weeks or months or even sued for.

Unless a written assertion is required anyway, it is advisable to always assert open claims in writing - if possible by means of a registered letter. In the event of a dispute, proof can also be provided.

However, all open claims must be asserted in court within 3 years, otherwise they become statute-barred!

I would contact the salary-department ('Lohnverrechung') of your former employer (keep in mind that some companies have their salary department outsourced) for immediate clarification as to why those are not listed and payed.

Make sure you contact them in writing (e-mail or a registered letter) and keep the paper-trail. It might be just a mistake on their side , but in case they refuse for whatever reason they might come up with or try to ghost you, your next step should be a visit to the closest local office of the 'Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte'. They offer free legal advice and are knowledgable about what steps to take next in order to get things straighten out. If they still don't comply with your justified request to get paid, there's always the labor court ('Arbeitsgericht').

Also keep us updated if you don't mind..


If you worked until the 31st of December, it was probably not possible to pay your compensation on your last payslip of December, because that one was processed sometime around the 20th. So what happens in my experience is that you get one final payslip, probably at the end of January, with the final amount resulting from left-over vacation time (Resturlaub) and overtime (Überstunden). If you don't receive it when they do the payroll run end of January, I would just write an email to HR.

As the payment happens after your employment time, it might get taxed with Lohnsteuerklasse 6. This means more money might be deducted, but you can get this back at the end of next year when doing your tax return (Einkommenssteuererklärung).

  • Probably this is the correct answer, but I will wait for the payroll to come in before flagging it as such :P Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 7:11

You asked for the 'normal' way to handle this, so I will describe what usually happens in Germany when you terminate your employment. Most companies will want you to take your remaining holidays as well as any overtime as time off. So your employment contract will run until say the end of February (it is almost always until the end of a month, much easier for accounting) but your last day of actually showing up for work is much earlier, for example the 5th of February. The difference is calculated so that you exactly use up all remaining holidays and use up the overtime as extra days off.

As the company usually wants some time for handing over your tasks this generally means that if you walk into the bosses office and say you want to quit your final date can be several months into the future. This is relevant for unemployment benefits (which you can only get for the time after your contract ends) and can be relevant for a new job. If this would create a conflict with a new job (you can't have two jobs at the same time) you need to negotiate something with your old or new employer.

  • This is basically what happened. The old company kept me for some time due to handovers, and then I was basically asked to take the remaining holidays (a part of. I had so many that I couldn't take them all) Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 10:33
  • @Noldor130884 That was sort of the point. If you have so many that you can't take all of them until the end of the month, your employment would continue for another month so that you can take all of them before the end of your employment. Appartently that didn't happen in your case but to my knowledge that would have been the normal procedure which would have avoided your current problem.
    – quarague
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 15:18
  • "your employment would continue for another month": I don't think that's a common way to handle this, as you put in your notice (Kündigung) with a fixed date, and your new employment usually starts immediately afterwards. So payout of remaining vacation days is really the norm in my experience. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 8:06
  • @quarague sorry but I do not see how this wouldn't have caused an issue, since I signed with another company. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 19:19

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