Can the trial period be extended?

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It is customary for the employer and employee to agree on a probationary period of six months at the beginning of the employment relationship. © Andrea Warnecke / dpa-tmn

Those who start a new job often start with a trial period. It doesn’t always have to take six months. But can the employer retrospectively extend a shorter probationary period?

Düsseldorf – Employers and employees can agree on the length of the probationary period individually. If you have a short probationary period, you might be happy. The probationary period can be extended again if both contracting parties agree, as Till Bender from the legal protection of the German trade union federation explains in an online article.

There is one restriction: the probationary period may not exceed six months. An extension is only possible up to this limit. In addition, the employee must always agree to the extension.

Longer probation periods are ineffective

A trial period that lasts longer than six months is ineffective according to the contribution: After six months, the normal notice period applies in any case. Anyone who works in a company with more than ten employees also applies the Dismissal Protection Act after six months.

Legal Protection Secretary Bender also points out that the probationary period is not automatically extended if an employee falls ill or takes vacation during the probationary period. In such cases, too, an extension must always be agreed.

Background: If the employee and the employer agree on a probationary period at the beginning of the employment relationship, a shortened notice period of two weeks generally applies to both sides during this period. However, shorter notice periods may also be agreed in collective bargaining agreements. dpa

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