Sonderurlaub: When are we entitled to paid leave from work in Germany?

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All full-time employees in Germany who work a full-day week, are entitled to during slightest 20 paid vacation days by law. This is a unclothed minimum, however, with many companies charity between 25 and 30 days per year – or even more.

READ ALSO: Vacation days in Germany: what to know about your rights as an employee

Yet what about days that aren’t for holiday, though rather something that needs to be finished during normal operative hours, such as relocating residence or caring for a child who falls sick? And what about large life events, like weddings or eremite ceremonies?

We’ve got some good news for you: these can validate for paid-time off work outward of a normal holiday stipend – with a few exceptions. Here’s what qualifies for a supposed Sonderurlaub, or special holiday. 


While on a one palm it’s an sparkling time, relocating residence can be a genuine pain. Packing adult all of your cherished security takes time that many of those clocking in full time hours simply don’t have. 

That’s since we can take a whine of use to know that moving qualifies for a paid day off work underneath dual core conditions: we are relocating for your pursuit – for instance being eliminated to another plcae – and a pierce needs to take place on a weekday or during work time, for instance since we have to be out of your home by a finish of a month. 

That said, Germany is a heavily unionized country, and any kinship has a possess special manners and exceptions to a ubiquitous law. For example, a kinship IG Metall grants a employees a day off work for a move, regardless if they are relocating for work-related reasons or not.

Public zone use employees can also design a day giveaway from a job, even if they are only relocating their effects subsequent door. 

In some cases when a pierce requires a good stretch and effort, your employer can be pretty approaching to extend we a few days off of work. 


Photo: DPA

Have an titillate to tie a tangle on a Wednesday afternoon? Maybe you’ll be some-more adult for it when we learn it means a day off of work – in further to a correct holiday time that we wish we also carve out for a Honeymoon. The same relates for polite unions. 

In some cases, this time off work can be postulated for adult to 3 days, in box we wish to carve off some-more time following a standard Sunday celebration. Yet paid time off typically is not longer than a day. 

READ ALSO: ‘Ja, ich will’: Internationals share what it’s like to get married in Germany

Special anniversaries

What improved approach to applaud a work anniversary than not working? That’s during slightest a truth of many open zone jobs that will extend a day off of work for 25th and 40th anniversaries of time logged during work. Although if we strech a latter, we wish that we are good on your approach to retirement soon!

The same relates to celebrating your possess 25th marriage anniversary, or a 25th or 50th marriage anniversary of your parents. Some unions will also extend their employees a day off for these special celebrations, famous respectively as china and golden weddings in Germany. 

Birth of your possess child

It should go though observant that, in further to a inexhaustible Elternzeit (parental leave) that both relatives are entitled to in Germany, we can also take time off for a birth of your child. This doesn’t only request to a lady giving birth though also her partner. 

READ ALSO: What relatives in Germany need to know when their child is sick

An injury

According to Section 616 of a German Civil Code, an employer contingency continue to compensate a income to a worker following an damage that prevents them from operative underneath a following dual conditions: a damage wasn’t caused by a worker themselves, and lasts “a comparatively considerate volume of time,” nonetheless in Germany this can meant adult to 6 months. 

Doctor visits

Photo: DPA

Employees are also postulated time off within a march of a operative day for alloy and medical visits. For some-more complete procedures that camber some-more that partial of a day – an operation, for instance – a worker can accept adult to a few days off of work.

Taking caring of a ill family member

If a family member underneath your caring falls ill and needs your care, we are entitled to adult to 10 days Sonderurlaub, even on remarkable notice, and adult to 6 months delinquent time off from work.

Religious reasons

Employees can also take time off in sequence to attend eremite ceremonies such as a communion or confirmation, nonetheless either this is paid depends on a employer. They are also authorised to leave work during a day in sequence to urge as prolonged as this has formerly been communicated with a employer.

READ ALSO: These 3 German cities offer ‘the best work-life balance’


In a unhappy eventuality that someone tighten to we passes away, we are entitled a paid day of protest leave. For tighten family members, this is customarily dual days. Of course, this is a unclothed smallest created into law, and many employers will also make exceptions formed on a particular case. 

Other forms of leave

Germany also grants a inexhaustible volume of paid leave for relatives (Elternzeit), ill leave, educational leave (Bildungsurlaub), and unemployment.

You can revisit a guides on a following and hit us during with additional questions or comments.

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