Q as in Quality

Can my employer terminate my employment because I perform less well than my colleagues?

Employees commit to perform work for their employer. It is often difficult to assess what type of quality this work performance ought to have.

Employees must use their personal capabilities in an adequate manner. However, this does not mean, for example, that they are obliged to achieve average work performance. In a group of employees, there will always have to be one employee who performs the least. This already follows from the very definition of average. However, the comparison of the work performance with the average of the colleagues says nothing about whether the work performance is less satisfactory than what the employee is obliged to achieve in his or her performance.

A dismissal of an employee due to unsatisfactory performance quality is therefore extremely difficult for the employer to justify.  In each individual case, it depends on how the poor performance is being assessed, how significant it is and for what reasons the work performance is unsatisfactory for the employer. Only if it is proven that with his or her poor work performance the employee commits a reprehensible breach of his or her duties under the employment contract, consequences can be taken within the boundaries of labor law.


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.

Two employees working with distinctly different quality: one more motivated, the other less so