I quit on 25th February and sent a letter (tracking with signature) to the HR department since my contract says that the resignation should be in written format.

The letter could not be delivered but the recipient was notified to collect it from a nearby post office.

But the HR denies receiving it on 28th of February, saying I do not have your letter on my table and today is already 1st of March and we will consider resignation from the 1st of March instead of February. The end date for resigning in March compared to February will be one month longer, since the notice period starts the month after my official resignation.

I have sent it on February end and if the HR has not received it on time even after notifying then how is it my mistake? Why should I serve a longer notice period?

Please throw some light on this on how it can be dealt with or is it legally accepted I also have snapshot of the DHL tracking says the recipient is notified on 28th Feb.

Does the notice to the recipient to pick up the post count as delivered?

I had to send it on Friday since I received my next company offer letter on 25th and wanted to review the letter before resigning. Yes, I know it could be very tricky to be delivered the next day but my luck it was notified to pickup on Monday. I had to send by post because the HR sits in a different state and can be sent only by post. I have a chance to negotiate with my manager but wanted to get some Insights before I could do it.

  • 1
    You already asked this on workplace. Are you hoping for a different answer here?
    – doneal24
    Mar 3, 2022 at 20:26
  • What does your contract say regarding notice period? Typically it's a couple weeks to the end of a month. 1st of March is still within such a period. What do you mean that HR office is in another state? Is it in Germany? Mar 3, 2022 at 22:05
  • 1
    Regarding DHL tracking - they could still claim the letter didn't contain the resignation. Mar 3, 2022 at 22:07
  • Did DHL notify them of the letter on the 28th or deliver the letter to them on 28th?
    – Joe W
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:32
  • 1
    @BernhardDöbler My contract says "Notice period of 3months effective from end of a month"
    – Deepika N
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


A declaration of intent among absent people becomes effective as soon as it reaches the recipient, § 130 Ⅰ 1 BGB. To reach the recipient means the declaration of intent must

  • under normal circumstances (e. g. not on statutory holidays),
  • get into the “territory” of the recipient (for example a mailbox), and
  • be physically available and intelligible (e. g. readable script [no water/rain damage]).

Note, it is not necessary that the recipient actually reads your letter, but it must be possible. Generally, it is presumed you check your mailbox at least once a day, so mail is considered to be delivered the next (business) day unless it arrived/was opened earlier. Ultimately, if it matters, you’ll need to prove when your declaration of intent reached the recipient.

I have sent it on February end and if the HR has not received it on time even after notifying then how is it my mistake?

It is your risk who you entrust with delivery. It is not the recipient’s fault if you chose an untrustworthy or too slow carrier.

Why should I serve a longer notice period?

Because you signed the employment contract. Seriously, your employer has a protected interest to trust in you fulfilling your part of the agreement. Business needs a certain level of predictability, so they can organize a replacement employee.

If they don’t need or “don’t like” you, you can still ask to be dismissed earlier via a mutual Aufhebungsvertrag, § 311 Ⅰ BGB.

Does the notice to the recipient to pick up the post count as delivered?

No, a notification about registered mail being available for pickup is not a substitute for your declaration of intent. Again, it must be possible for the recipient to identify the message.

  • 4
    That's why "Einwurfeinschreiben" is superior to a normal "Einschreiben" in this case: it is delivered to the mailbox and the postal service gives the date of the delivery.
    – Trish
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:07

It was received when it was received

You used a private courier (DHL) so while they have the letter it is legally the same as if you had it since they are your agent. So, you delivered it to them when it passed from DHL to the employer - 1 March 2022.

If you had used the post office the analysis would be different.

One can only wonder why you didn’t use email.

  • 4
    Resignation notices aren't valid in electronic form in Germany: it has to be a written and signed document.
    – Trish
    Mar 3, 2022 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Trish how quaint. Does it also have to be handwritten or is printing allowed?
    – Dale M
    Mar 3, 2022 at 20:16
  • 4
    @DaleM: Written form for notice to quit, § 623 MC 1 BGB. Written form, § 126 Ⅰ BGB, can be printed but needs to be signed by hand. (In contrast to that, compare § 2247 Ⅰ BGB.) Mar 3, 2022 at 20:30
  • 1
    DHL is actually owned by German postal service "Deutsche Post" Mar 5, 2022 at 1:01
  • 1
    @BernhardDöbler yes, but it isn’t the post office, it’s a separate company
    – Dale M
    Mar 5, 2022 at 2:31

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