S as in Secondary Employment

Am I allowed to having a second job?

In principle, employees are free to decide how they use their time outside their working hours. The employer may therefore not prohibit employees from engaging in a secondary employment.

However, the secondary job must not conflict with the duties arising from the main employment relationship. This is the case when the activities conflict with the main employment relationship in terms of time budget or its content. Even without a specific clause in the employment contract, an employee may not compete with the main employer. Therefore, employees are obliged to notify their employer of planned additional jobs if the interests of the primary employer could be affected by the employment.

In terms of time, several employment relationships may in total also not exceed the requirements of the Working Hours Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz).

May my employer prohibit me from taking up a secondary employment?

Employment contracts often include a clause on secondary employment. A general prohibition of additional jobs is invalid. Employees are often required to notify the employer of their plans of taking up anothjer job or to have it approved by the employer. In these cases, the employer may not arbitrarily refuse the secondary employment.


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.

An employee leaving the office buliding in order to work at a bakery for a secondary employment