I started a new company and signed a contract in Germany. Due to changes in german law $ 2 para 1. of the Evidence Act (German abb: Nachwg) my company sent me a change in the contract to sign.

I'm okay with signing it though they ask me to put my start date and not the day I sign. I started on 1 September but to due a letter getting lost in the post I only managed to receive it delayed by 21 days.

The last page of the document has

Today I received an original signed copy of this proof. (Although it was not signed) with city/date/signature fields.

Is it fraud if I put my start date instead of the current date?

Or am I wasting my time and I should just put the date I started.

  • 1
    The company probably committed a Ordnungswiedrigkeit by not showing you certain contract details on day 1. So the actual question is: "Is it illegal to cover up an Ordnungswiedrigkeit committed by someone else"?
    – Philipp
    Sep 21, 2022 at 13:41
  • maybe though its not really there fault considering I started remote and the letter got lost. Maybe they could have emailed me this but germany requires a paper version. Sep 21, 2022 at 13:54
  • What kind of change are we talking about? Is it an editorial change? Unlike in China, it is not mandatory to conclude an employment contract in written form. In Germany it is perfectly legal to conclude an employment contract orally. However, you’ve mentioned it, the Nachweisgesetz (Documentation Act) dictates that certain basic details must be provided in written form within one month after [agreed] start of work latest, yet this documentation sheet is not a contract. Nevertheless, the documentation requirement is usually fulfilled by concluding a written agreement, § 2 Ⅴ NachwG. Sep 22, 2022 at 13:02
  • Basically relates to these changes here simmons-simmons.com/en/publications/cl5teg4ub1srh0b19ne07xypn/… German law requires that a work contract contain the information above since this law came in affect August 2022 after I signed my initial contract they update my contract to include mandatory requirements. Sep 22, 2022 at 14:03
  • 2
    Never do this. Never create yourself exposure. They will know it, and they will be able to hold that over you. It doesn’t matter what they say. Never back date anything for anyone, period. When someone asks you that, just know they are up to something shady.
    – kisspuska
    Oct 5, 2022 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


While I cannot assess whether that could be an Ordnungswidrigkeit as Phillipp pointed out in the comments (though, that doesn't seem entirely implausible), I can tell you that it is most likely not a fraud in the legal sense, since § 263 StGB reads as follows:

(1) Whoever, with the intention of obtaining an unlawful pecuniary benefit for themselves or a third party, damages the assets of another by causing or maintaining an error under false pretences or distorting or suppressing true facts incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine. [...]

(translation by the Federal Ministry of Justice)

So, if no one damages the assets of someone else to obtain an “unlawful pecuniary benefit” (which doesn't seem to be the case here), it can't be actual fraud.

Though, if the contract was signed before the modification to the NachwG law came into effect, why would said modification apply to that contract in the first place?

Anyway, I'd be very careful about requests to backdate a letter/signature/whatever due to unforeseen legal issues.

  • 1
    Meanwhile I would say same date as originally agreed ⇒ no problem; different date ⇒ problematic: Assume you started working on September 2, but you and your employer backdate the employment contract to September 1 in order to qualify for the energy prices relief package, § 114 EStG. That’s fraud. The [employer’s] administrative offense Philipp mentioned comes from § 4 Ⅰ NachwG. Oct 5, 2022 at 13:00

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