Kanzlei fuer Arbeitsrecht Schweier
Preventive legal advice for executives / employees

Preventive employment law advice for employees, in particular for executives, can make sense with regard to questions on negotiating a contract, drafting a contract and in particular if termination of employment looms.

Knowledge of the limits and the possibilities pursuant to the court rulings may strengthen the negotiating position. Advantage, which pays off, may be gained from knowing rights and obligations.

Negotiating a contract

Specific questions may already arise at an early stage of the contract negotiations:
  • What circumstances do I have to disclose unasked?
  • What questions is the employer allowed to ask me?
  • How am I allowed to react to inadmissible questions?
  • Do I have a claim for reimbursement of costs for a job interview?

Drafting a contract

An applicant does not have to accept all provisions the future employer presents to him/her – possibly in a form employment contract. He/She can try to structure specific provisions for his/her own benefit with reference to objective reasons. If respective negotiations are based on a comprehensible discussion, the applicant will generally not jeopardize the conclusion of the contract thereby.

Of substantial interest are provisions on:
  • the components of remuneration (in particular clear regulation of a variable compensation)
  • working time (To which extent does the employer’s right to instruct the employee apply in this regard? Will overtime be compensated?)
  • and termination of employment.

Termination of employment

Need for information about the legal situation can already arise if termination of employment is imminent.

This can already apply when the employer gives a warning to the employee.
  • How can an employee proceed in such a situation?
  • Should the employer‘s preparatory measures for termination of employment be challenged?
If the employer gives notice of termination, it should be checked if there are reasons for the ineffectiveness of the notice of termination (e.g. if notice of termination was given for conduct-related reasons, lack of a prior warning; if notice was given for business reasons, wrong determination of the circle of comparable employees or wrong social selection, missing offer of continued employment in case of job vacancy, wrong hearing of the works council).

In negotiations on termination of employment, important fundamentals must be clarified:
  • Has the employer already given notice of termination and shall the remaining performance of the contractual relationship be regulated in a settlement agreement or was the employment relationship cancelled based on a mutual termination agreement?
  • What are the different consequences for this (in particular with regard to the claim for unemployment benefits)?
Even if the employee terminates employment himself/herself, legal questions may arise, e.g. whether the parties effectively agreed on a post-contractual competition ban.

The reference letter, too, is of considerable relevance in case of termination of employment. In this regard, it has to be checked in particular whether the content of a qualified reference letter, which the employee requests, is correct.
  • Have performance and conduct of the employee been correctly assessed?
  • Does the reference letter provide for negative assessments (possibly also hidden)?


Preventive legal advice may help an employee obtain a basis for arguing in order to influence the structuring of the contractual relationship and to arrange for an imminent termination of employment beneficial to himself/herself.