I recently started working for a company after graduating. In a month I found a better offer from another company. I quit my current company and nor did I disclose this information to my new employer during interview process or in my resume.

I got the contract from my new employer along with a personal information form which asks for information such as tax class, marital status and so on. There is also a section asking me to fill out information about my previous employers.

I do not wish to disclose this information as this might lead to bad impression about me in two ways. One, me not disclosing this information earlier. Secondly, new employer might lose trust in me knowing I quit a company in a month.

Can I choose not to disclose my previous employer information? Is there any way my new employer could find out by other means? What are my options here?

  • Won't they know anyway when they look up your tax records? They'll need to know how much your previous employer paid you for PAYE. (Based on the section about Lohnsteuer here.) – Rup Sep 21 '17 at 23:12
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    @Rup: They can´t look up your tax returns, they are private. Your employer only submits information on what you earn with them, and deductes the income-taxe for you based on the estimated yearly income. They do not get information back. It is then your problem, once the year is passed, to set the record straight and get- or pay the adjustment. (Lohnsteuererklärung) – Daniel Sep 22 '17 at 7:20
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    Everyone, keep in mind this is Germany. Laws containing privacy are very different than in the US – Mafii Sep 22 '17 at 7:28

I did not encounter this in my 20 years of working here, and do not believe it has any implications of you leave out the info. I usually only gave info about my former employers via my CV.

Of course you could be found out by chance (they know somebody who knows you etc.) Then it´d be hard to explain. Better to stick to the truth next time. You can always explain one short-term employment, it´s only a worry if you collect more of those.

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    Also keep in mind that the fastest way to get fired in Germany is to lie in a job (via CV or recruitment process). You can not disclose or refuse to answer, but never, never lie or mislead. – angarg12 Sep 22 '17 at 9:21
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    angarg12: good point. Not listing your job in your CV could still be a little gray area. As in "I did not mention it because I did not think of it as a relevant job experience. Not stating it in a form when specifically asked for could be reason for instant termination if found out. – Daniel Sep 22 '17 at 9:25
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    @Daniel I would doubt that not stating a previous employer on a form could be a justification for instant termination, as long as it is not highly relevant for your next job. But that's for experts (lawers) to answer. – NoBackingDown Sep 22 '17 at 9:46
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    @Dominik: One reason that is often found valid before court is "Störung des Vetrauensverhältnisses" means something like "disruption of the trust-relationship". – Daniel Sep 22 '17 at 10:31
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    @Daniel Generally I agree, but there are many cases where making false statements is lawful, especially as an answer to a question that should have never been asked in the first place, as for instance whether the applicant is planning to have children in near future etc. – NoBackingDown Sep 22 '17 at 13:25

Can I choose not to disclose my previous employer information?

In theory you have a minimum allowance for paid days off per year in Germany (Bundesurlaubsgesetz). Now if you take all your days in January and then quit, that's legal, but your next company does not have to grant you any further days for that year because they are per year, not per year and company.

In practice, I have never seen a company that would be picky about that. You get days off in relation to the time there (for example starting a new job in November will likely grant you 2/12th of the legal minimum days for that year, regardless of what you did before). The logistics of contacting your old employer and finding out on an individual basis who used how much of that allowance would be a major HR nightmare, creating more costs for HR than the days off for you would cost.

I don't think I ever gave "previous employer" information other than in the chronological CV. Certainly not when I was hired and gave my information required to process me (tax id, health care etc).

Is there any way my new employer could find out by other means?

You mean like googling you, looking at your public Facebook posts or Xing/LinkedIn? Absolutely. Although they might not care enough.

What are my options here?

Say "no" and see how they react? You could also test the waters saying "I don't know their full address on top of my head, do you need a specific contact or is the company name enough?" If they need a specific contact, for example HR, then I guess they are really into it. Most likely somebody will say "no, we don't care, that's just to complete the form, write the company name or something."

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  • you are right. I got it wrong. In reality this usually does not come into play, and I was never asked about past holidays upon taking a new job. – Daniel Sep 22 '17 at 8:54

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