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Job advert: The Local Germany is looking to recruit a new journalist

If you'd be interested in joining our team at The Local to help explain Germany to a growing audience of subscribers then read on.

Aerial view of Berlin from the Berliner Dom cathedral.
Aerial view of Berlin from the Berliner Dom cathedral. Photo: Robert Keane

The Local seeks a reporter in Germany  

The Local is currently seeking a reporter in Berlin to join our growing team of internationally minded, driven and clued-up journalists.  

As a reporter, you will work closely with your country editor to build membership of The Local Germany and reach new audiences.

You will cover the relevant news about Germany as well as explain to our readers how this news affects their lives. You will also write articles to explain the practical info our readers need for living in Germany and write features to help them get to grips with the German language, the people and the culture.

You will seek out the issues and subjects that matter to our readers as foreign residents in Germany and help provide them with answers or explanations.

You will also be part of a vibrant team stretching from Sweden to Spain, working together to grow membership across The Local and increase its profile among an international audience.

The Local currently has over 50,000 members of which around 6,000 are signed up to our German site.

What we expect from you:  

  • An exceptional level of written and spoken English (native speaker or equivalent).  
  • Fluency in German: Our ideal candidate has been living in Germany for more than a year.  
  • The ability to write clear, concise and engaging news stories, explainers and practical features.  
  • The ability to dig out stories that matter to readers and build contacts with groups and associations representing foreign nationals.
  • Experience of translating from German to English and an ability to turn flowing German prose into equally flowing English prose.  
  • At least two years’ experience in an editorial role.  
  • A knowledge of journalistic ethics and good practice.  
  • An excellent knowledge of German society, politics and institutions. 
  • Flexibility: the ability to work some unsocial hours as needed, sometimes at short notice.  
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.  
  • Familiarity with using social media.  
  • Familiarity with blogging, online publishing, sound recording and photo editing are an advantage.  
  • A knowledge of other languages apart from English and German (particularly French, Italian and Spanish) would be useful.  

This is you:  

  • Curiosity: you want to help explain Germany to our readers and dig deep to find out how the country works.
  • Selfless: You want to do what it takes to explore issues our readers are having living in Germany and get the answers they need
  • Imagination: you’re constantly thinking of new ways to approach stories, new ways to use online and social media, new ways to connect with our audiences.  
  • Intelligence: you have a sophisticated approach to news and info that will help The  Local in Germany broaden its readership while retaining loyal existing readers.
  • Diligence: You are prepared to go the extra length to make your articles as valuable as possible

All applicants must have the right to live and work in Germany. The Local cannot sponsor work visa applications.

Making a commitment to our team will give you the chance to pursue an exciting, international journalism career. The job is full time and is permanent (CDI contract). Pay competitive.  

If you think you have what it takes, send your CV and a brief introduction (in English) to [email protected], with the subject line Reporter position, The Local Germany  

The Local is an English-language online news network, with sites in nine countries used by more than 5 million people each month and 50,000 paying members.

With an entertaining blend of daily news, features and practical info, our sites have become  essential reading for foreign citizens.

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WORKING IN GERMANY

German employers ‘must give notice of holidays expiring’, court rules

Employers in Germany often set strict deadlines for taking annual leave - but a new court ruling states that these deadlines could be invalid if employees don't inform their workers of the rules.

German employers 'must give notice of holidays expiring', court rules

Whether it’s a heavy workload or prolonged illness, there are plenty of reasons that holiday days can end up going unused. In many cases, they simply expire at the end of the calendar year – but are there some cases in which they shouldn’t expire at all?

According to a new decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – the highest court in the EU – some workers may be entitled to compensation for their “expired” holidays after all.

In a landmark ruling based on a dispute in Germany, the ECJ has stated that deadlines for taking holidays are only valid from the date when the employer tells their employees about the rules. It means that if workers are unaware that they have to use their annual leave within a certain time, these holiday days can still be taken after the supposed deadline has passed.

The latest decision comes on the back of a similar ruling by Germany’s Federal Labour Court in 2019, which obliged employers to remind their workers to take their holiday before it expired.

The Labour Court said that the reminders should be addressed directly to the employee in writing and should inform them explicitly that their holiday days could expire if the employee decided not to take them.

READ ALSO: Why German employers will soon have to record staff working hours

Law firm dispute

In the latest case in question, a tax clerk who worked at a law firm from 1996 to 2017 claimed she was entitled to financial compensation for several days of holiday.

Her contract entitled her to 24 days of annual leave, which she said she was unable to take over a number of years because she had too much work to do.

At the beginning of March 2012, her employer certified that she was entitled to a total of 76 days of remaining leave from 2011 and previous years.

This did not expire on March 31st 2013 as usual because she had not been able to take it “due to the heavy workload in the office”, the ruling explained. 

In the following years, the employee once again did not take the full amount of annual leave she was entitled to. During this time, the employer did not remind her to take her holidays, nor did he indicate that the entitlement to leave could be forfeited if she did not take it.

Financial compensation

After the tax clerk left the firm in July 2017, she received just €3,201.38 for 14 days of leave that hadn’t been taken in 2017. 

According to the employee, at least 101 further days of leave were unaccounted for. In a court complaint, she demanded full compensation for these additional days of unused holiday.

However, her previous employer argued that the time limit for taking the holiday days had expired.

The case was initially heard by Solingen Labour Court and then by Düsseldorf Regional Labour Court. It subsequently ended up before the Federal Labour Court, who asked the ECJ to provide an opinion on whether Germany’s three-year cap on taking annual leave was compatible with European law.

READ ALSO: Bildungsurlaub: What is Germany’s ‘education holiday’ and how can I use it?

The entrance to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The entrance to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Germany’s three-year cap on untaken leave is compatible with EU law. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Nicolas Bouvy

According to the ECJ, the time limit isn’t problematic. However, it can only apply from the date that the employee is informed about the rule.

That means that, if workers are unaware that their holiday days can expire, the days can be still be taken after the three-year time limit is up. 

“Indeed, since the employee is to be regarded as the weaker party to the employment contract, the task of ensuring that the right to paid annual leave is actually exercised should not be shifted entirely to the employee,” the judgment from Luxembourg states.

The former law firm employee is now likely to be entitled to a hefty payout from her previous employer. In its own judgement, the Federal Labour Court declared that the complainant was entitled to compensation for 76 days of leave at a rate of €228.64 per day.

This equates to a payout of around €17,400 plus interest.  

READ ALSO: Which public holidays are coming up in Germany?

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