This guide explains how vacation days, sick leave and public holidays work in Germany.

Public holidays

German employees get 10 to 13 paid public holidays1. It's different in each state.

On public holidays, you get the day off, but you still get paid. You celebrate the holidays of the state where you work, even if you live in a different state1.

List of public holidays in Berlin ➞

Vacation days

In Germany, all employees get paid vacation days. If you work 5 days per week, you get at least 20 vacation days per year1.

Most employees get 25 to 30 vacation days1. When you get a job offer, you can negotiate more vacation days.

Work daysMinimum vacation days
1 day per week4 days per year
2 days per week8 days per year
3 days per week12 days per year
4 days per week
16 days per year
5 days per week
20 days per year
6 days per week
24 days per year

During your probation period, your sick days are prorated: you unlock 1/12 of your vacation days every month. More information here.

Employees under 18 years old get more vacation days, depending on their age.

Sick leave

In Germany, it's okay to take sick days. Your employer won't punish you. On average, German employees take 11 sick days per year. When you take sick days, you still get paid.

Your employer can ask for a sick note from a doctor. Most employers ask for a sick note if you are sick for more than 3 days. Some ask for a sick note on the first day. Your employer can't punish you for taking sick days. You could be fired if you take over 30 sick days per year, but only in some cases1.

You can take as many sick days as you need during your probation period.