E as in Extraordinary Termination

What is the difference between an ordinary and extraordinary termination?

Regarding terminations, a distinction is being made between ordinary and extraordinary terminations. The difference lies in the reason for termination and in the period of notice. Thus, ordinary termination is often referred to as termination with notice, while extraordinary termination is referred to as termination without notice.

In case of ordinary termination, the period of notice stated in the contract or by law is being observed. Employees do not need a reason for termination in order to terminate, employers need – if the Dismissal Protection Act applies – a social justification for a termination.

In the case of extraordinary termination (also termination without notice), no notice period must be observed. The employment relationship ends immediately upon issue of the notice of termination. In return, the requirements for the reason for termination are much higher. Such a termination is justified if, taking into account all circumstances of the individual case, continued employment is not deemed justifiable even for the duration of the notice period.

The extraordinary notice of termination must be given within two weeks after the person giving the notice has become aware of the reason for termination.

What are grounds for an extraordinary termination without notice?

For a termination without notice, too, there are no grounds for termination that justify termination with absolute certainty. It always depends on the individual case.


Please note: This is a very general overview on german labor law. If you need help in your particular case, please do not hestitate to contact me or book your appointment. I’m happy to help.

Employer gesturing angrily at an employee in front of a broken window, risking an extraordinary termination