You were fired? - That's what you have to do

Last updated on August 19, 2020

When employees are terminated, there are many things they must take into account. In this guide, we explain what you should do and what to look out for next.

What to do after a termination

  1. Stay calm and continue to go to work
  2. Register with the employment agency and claim unemployment benefit
  3. For the job search: job reference and release from work
  4. Check termination

1. Stay calm and continue to go to work

  • Stay calm!
    As annoying and surprising as a dismissal by the employer may come: Stay calm and take a deep breath! Insults or unfriendly replies to e-mails or the annoyance towards colleagues can bring relief in the short term, but in most cases they weaken your negotiating position.

  • Caution with termination agreements!
    If your employer presents you with a termination agreement, do not sign it for the time being. In this case do not let yourself be pressured! You are not obliged to sign the termination agreement immediately. Also here the rule is: Keep calm! Take the time to have the termination agreement and the notice of termination checked!

2. Register with the employment agency and apply for unemployment benefits

The terms "job-seeking" and "unemployed" are often used synonymously, so here is a short explanation in advance. Jobseekers must register with employees who know that the employment relationship will soon end. On the other hand, it is only necessary to register as unemployed once the employment relationship has ended and you have not yet found a job.

  • Register as a job seeker

Once you have received a notice of termination, you must register with the employment agency seeking work at least 3 months before the end of the notice period. If the period of notice is shorter, you even have only 3 working days. It is also necessary to register as a jobseeker if you want to defend yourself against your dismissal with a termination protection lawsuit. There are more serious consequences if you do not register as a jobseeker in time, as you will then be blocked from receiving unemployment benefit for one week.

You have the following options for registering as a jobseeker:

  1. in person, on location at a service of the Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit)
  2. by telephone on the toll-free number 0800 4 555500
  3. online on the website of the ++Agentur für Arbeit++
  • Register unemployed

If the employment relationship is terminated and you have not yet found a new job, you must register as unemployed at the latest at the end of the notice period. If you submit your unemployment registration too late, you will not receive your unemployment benefit from the beginning of your unemployment, but only from the time of registration. In contrast to the jobseeker's registration, you must register as unemployed in person at the Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit). Only during the Corona period does the Employment Agency also allow you to register by telephone. Applying for unemployment benefit

To receive unemployment benefit, you must fill out an application and register as unemployed in person. You can find the relevant form online or at a department of the Employment Agency. If you register as unemployed in person, you are also applying for unemployment benefit 1. Depending on the corona period, your identity can also be checked online using a so-called "selfie-ident-procedure".

3. For the job search: Job reference and release from work

  • Job reference

With a notice of termination you are entitled to a job reference. To be able to use a reference from your employer for new job applications, it is best to request an interim reference. This also serves as a reference for the final certificate, which must not be worse than the interim certificate. In addition, changes can be requested during the dismissal protection process. It is best to request your interim certificate as early as possible and especially before you take possible steps against your dismissal. In this case, employers usually provide particularly benevolent certificates in the hope that employees who have been dismissed will find a new job more easily and therefore do not object to the dismissal. The best thing to do is to prepare a draft certificate for your employer. This not only speeds up the issuing process, but also increases your chances of receiving a certificate in accordance with your wishes.

  • Release from work

When looking for a new job, sooner or later you will be invited for interviews. If you have an appointment during working hours, you can take time off from your employer. Under certain circumstances, your current employer is even obliged to release you from work on request. This is the case if it is not a matter of trial periods or temporary jobs and the application was submitted in good time before the leave of absence. You should also submit the application in written form and have the release from work confirmed in writing. In addition to the interview with a future employer, this also holds for appointments

  1. at the employment agency,
  2. at an assessment center,
  3. with private job agencies and for the completion of qulification tests and examinations, as far as they are necessary for a corresponding application,
  4. on the events for which your employer must release you. Trial periods with a potential new employer are not covered by the purpose of the time off to look for work.

4. check termination

Employers may not dismiss employees arbitrarily. If you have been unfairly dismissed, you can claim re-employment or compensation for the loss of your job. You have 3 weeks from the date you receive the notice to do so. As employers often do not comply with all the rules on dismissal, you should always check your termination.

Read more about protection against dismissal, reasons for dismissal and requirements for a letter of termination on our information pages. With CONNY, you can also easily have your notice of termination checked online and free of charge by legal experts to find out whether you have a chance for further employment or severance pay.

Did you get a termination notice?
Here you will receive a free and non-binding schematic check of your cancellation:

CONNY helps employees - Easy. Online. Without cost risk.

CONNY is Germany's leading umbrella brand for the enforcement of consumer rights. With the help of intelligent technology for schematic checking of documents and procedures as well as professional processes, Conny GmbH helps consumers throughout Germany - from excessive rents to employee protection. The experienced CONNY partner attorneys are always available to assist our clients.

The CONNY promise: Everyone should have the possibility of being able to call on help with legal problems - regardless of their wallet. That is why we at CONNY remove any cost risk from you so that you only pay a commission in case of success. In case of failure you will not be charged anything.

Check your notice of termination
Here you will receive a free and non-binding schematic check of your cancellation: