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I have applied to a new job, and the process is going well.

I have asked for a salary of 100k, around 40% or 30k more than I earn today.

There is an upcoming interview with HR, and I was told my an ex employee that they usually ask about current salary.

I simply do not want to disclose my current salary, I am afraid that can influence their offer. I also feel this is personal, and not related to the negotiation.

Is it possible, somehow or after the offer - In Germany - That an Employer discovers or checks my current/previous salary?

If they push me to share, what should I say?

Can I keep my working contract just to me and my employer, or I need to share those things with future employers?

Please note my question is directed to Germany's working culture, laws, etc.

  • This represents 40% increase, and I dont want for them to have this information and make me a lower offer, because that's a big "Jump". I am also curious about German law, Germany has strict laws when it comes to privacy, Also, note I am asking if they can request my current employer my working contract, or if they can request me my current contract. – Vampire Mar 21 '17 at 19:02
  • You should put your comment as part of your question (as an edit). A lot of people don't read the comments before answering so you wont get a complete answer. – SUPERETDUPER Mar 21 '17 at 21:57
  • What do you mean by "check"? Do you mean that the new employer will call your previous employer and ask "please tell me Vampire's salary"? – Brandin Mar 21 '17 at 22:11
  • Yes, something like that @Brandin – Vampire Mar 22 '17 at 0:31
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    Not related, but with that kind of numbers, make sure you opt out of the church. The church tax is considerable, and especially if you're an expat not intending to stick around forever, you don't get anything out of it. – simbabque Mar 23 '17 at 8:18
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I have been working in Germany for a couple of years and as far as I know your salary is confidential, and you are not supposed to share it with anyone.

So I think that the only way a prospect employer can know about your salary is if you openly tell them.

It turns out that I was a little bit stupid in the past and used to tell my prospect employers my current salary. They used this to offer me the same or a little bit more. Later on I learned by other means that my colleagues in the same position make more than I do, and that the top salary for that position was more than they offered me.

Now my approach is completely different, I say my expected salary and that's it. If they ask why I am asking that much, I say that is how much I am worth based on my position, experience, and maybe mention similar offers or salary information that I got from the internet.

If they ask how much I earn now, I say that is not relevant for the negotiation. If they insist, I say that I rather not tell. And if they keep insisting, you just need to say that your current salary is confidential and you are not allowed to share it.

As one of my friends said, salary negotiation is like playing poker, only that the company can see your hand. Try to tip the balance in your favour a little bit.

  • Exactly. When are looking to make a big step up in pay your previous pay isn't relevant and can only serve to encourage the company to low ball you on an offer. What is relevant are the typical pay rate for that position and if you can do the job. On the other hand if you happen to be looking at something where you will probably be looking for something on the high end of the pay scale revealing your past salary can help you in that situation. – Evan Steinbrenner Mar 22 '17 at 18:44

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