My ex-company decided to pay its employees a bonus for the struggles with Corona in 2021. I've resigned from my job at that company in January 2022. They announced the bonus payment in February 2022, I've gotten the info from an ex-coworker.

This Corona bonus bases on a special law in Germany, that allows a company to pay its employees up to €1.500 tax-free because of the Coronavirus. There are no other statements about this bonus in my contract. The bonus is voluntary, though.

My understanding is, that because I've worked for the company in 2021, I should be still eligible for the bonus payment, even if I've quit already. I know that there were other employees who planned to quit in early 2022 and handed in their notices already at the end of 2021, I feel like the company delayed the announcement to late February 2022 on purpose, to save money.

Am I right with my assumption that I am still eligible for that bonus, and would it be worth to contact my old company about this, or even to contact a lawyer for that matter?

  • 7
    In my experience in other countries, the conditions for receiving a bonus may include something along the lines of "...and must still be employed by the company on 2022-02-22" (or some such date). Whether this is common or permitted in Germany, I have no idea.
    – phoog
    Feb 22, 2022 at 9:35
  • @phoog That's something I expected, in that case I'd have to wait until my ex-coworker (also a friend of mine) receives its official letter stating that he receives the bonus and under what conditions
    – user44014
    Feb 22, 2022 at 9:48
  • 3
    Without looking into the details, they haven’t delayed the announcement “on purpose” but there is a deadline by which they need to have reported the paid bonuses to the tax office. It’s not like they could indicate a tax-free bonus payment in the year 2048 for an employee X who worked in 2021. Feb 22, 2022 at 12:36
  • 2
    Check first paragraph: Did you leave in January 2021 or January 2022?
    – Damila
    Feb 22, 2022 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Not likely

The company decided to pay the bonus on a certain date. They most likely announced that everybody that is part of the company on a certain date in 2021/2022 [and who has worked at it for a certain duration] will get a bonus. If you are able to get the bonus is dependent on the exact wording of the document that promised the bonus.

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