Can you get fired without knowing

Termination in training

Which regulations have to be observed in the event of a termination?

Termination during your training is regulated in Section 22 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG). The reasons for a termination are usually very individual: Perhaps you and your training company find out during the probationary period that you simply do not fit together. Or you decide to drop out of your training to take up a degree. Perhaps one of you (your training company or you as an apprentice) has committed a serious breach of duty, so that a continuation of the apprenticeship would be unreasonable and you would like to change your apprenticeship position. In all of these cases you or your employer can terminate the apprenticeship.

Trainees have four different options for terminating their training:

  • Termination during the probationary period
  • Ordinary termination
  • Termination without notice
  • Termination agreement

Regardless of whether the employment relationship has been terminated or whether you want to terminate it yourself: In the case of underage trainees, the legal guardians have a say and a right to information. That means: If you want to terminate your apprenticeship contract, you need the consent of your parents beforehand. Conversely, a notice of termination from your employer must first go to your parents for legal reasons. A termination agreement must also be signed by your parents.

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Termination during the probationary period - What are the special features?

The trial period is used to get to know your job and the company. According to § 20 BBiG, it must be at least one month and may not exceed four months. During the probationary period, your employer can check whether you have the potential for a successful training and whether you fit in well with the company as an apprentice. According to Section 22 (1) BBiG, the employment relationship can be terminated by either party at any time during the probationary period without observing a notice period or giving an important reason. It is only important that this must be done in writing. This means that you no longer need to show up for work from the next working day - i.e. without a notice period. But there are exceptions here, too: Pregnant women, people with a severe disability and members of the youth and trainee representatives can only be terminated with difficulty during the probationary period.

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Ordinary termination - what is it?

After the probationary period, you can terminate your apprenticeship contract in accordance with Section 22 (2) No. 2 BBiG with a notice period of four weeks. Your termination must be in writing and stating important reasons. These reasons can be:

  • You want to give up your professional training.
  • You want to do an apprenticeship in another profession.

As a trainee, you are legally better protected than a normal employee. That means in plain language: After the end of your probationary period, your employer cannot properly terminate you!

Termination without notice - these reasons exist

As the name suggests, there is no deadline for termination without notice. This means that from now on you no longer have to go to work or you can go home straight away. Termination without notice can be given by both sides, i.e. by you or your employer. There must be an important reason for termination without notice.

Behavioral termination

Examples of behavior-related termination from the perspective of the training company:

  • If you often stand out due to an unexcused absence in the training company or in the vocational school.
  • If you disregard work instructions, safety regulations or prohibitions.
  • If you deliberately damage company property such as machines or tools.
  • If you can be shown to have stolen something at work.
  • If you do not keep your report book properly according to § 14 BBiG.

In most cases, you will not be terminated immediately without notice, but will be given a warning first. Warnings must meet formal criteria: The breach of duty that your employer accuses you of must be precisely described. Furthermore, the warning must state that you are threatened with termination of the apprenticeship if you continue to misconduct. And of course the warning must be issued promptly after the breach of duty. If you receive a warning, you should take it very seriously and work on your behavior as quickly as possible! After two warnings, you will receive a notice of termination for another violation. The good news: Depending on the severity and content of your breach of duty, warnings expire one to two years after they have been issued and may not be mentioned in your job reference.

Conversely, your training company can also breach its obligations and give you cause for termination without notice.

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Examples of a behavior-related termination on your part due to breaches of duty by the training company:

  • If your training company frequently violates the Youth Labor Protection Act or the Working Hours Act.
  • If you are supposed to often take on non-training activities that are not specified in the training contract.
  • If you have been sexually harassed in your workplace or have been the victim of physical violence.
  • If you have not been paid any training allowance.
  • If you have to work overtime as a trainee and this is not remunerated or compensated for by free time.
  • If you are inadequately conveyed the content of the training or if there is no trainer.

As with the warning, you should first notify your training company in writing of its breach of duty and request it to change its behavior. You must do this within two weeks of the breach of duty. You can only permanently terminate if your training company does not comply with this request.

Termination for personal reasons

Reasons for terminating the contract for personal reasons are usually very individual and - as the name suggests - are personal to you. These can be health problems, for example, which mean that you are no longer suitable as an apprentice for vocational training. For example, if you develop an allergy to flour dust or wood dust, you can no longer work as a baker or carpenter and the result would be a termination of your apprenticeship.

Termination for operational reasons

A reason for termination for operational reasons exists if the training company or your training department is shut down so that training can no longer be carried out. Economic problems or the filing of bankruptcy alone are not grounds for termination and your apprenticeship relationship will continue throughout the insolvency proceedings. In the event of closure, your training company is obliged to take care of your further training and to find another training center for you as an apprentice with the help of the employment agency.

In the event that you receive a termination for operational reasons, the insolvency or the intended closure of the company must be stated in the letter of termination as an important reason.

You should definitely consider this in the event of a termination for operational reasons:

  • Contact the Employment Agency: If you lose your training allowance, you can receive insolvency loss allowance and later unemployment benefit.
  • Ask your vocational school how long you can still attend vocational school without having signed a new apprenticeship contract.
  • If you actively take care of a new apprenticeship position, you can quickly conclude a new apprenticeship and complete your apprenticeship successfully.

Tip 1: If you are already in the final year of your apprenticeship, you can shorten your training and bring the exam forward. Or you apply for a position for fully qualified apprentices and offer the last six months of your training as an induction period.

Tip 2: For a training company, it can be quite interesting to offer advanced trainees from an insolvent company a training contract; in this case, according to § 33 BBiG, financial support is available.

What is a termination agreement?

A termination contract confirms the termination of the apprenticeship relationship by mutual consent. In contrast to a termination (termination is always a unilateral termination of the contract), there are no deadlines with a termination agreement that must be adhered to. The trainee and the training company agree to terminate the contract.

You should think twice about signing a termination agreement! A termination agreement means that you have voluntarily terminated the employment relationship. As a rule, the employment agency then imposes a blocking period so that you do not receive any unemployment benefits for the first twelve weeks after the termination agreement. Tip: don't let yourself be put under pressure! Never sign immediately after receipt, but read the contract at home in peace and get legal advice if necessary!

Other important contract content in your apprenticeship contract: