I am working remotely for a company in Germany from Germany. The company is in one state and my place of work is my home in another state. In Germany, we have different mandatory holidays in some states. This is the case with my employer.

Currently, there is a discussion, if I have to work when there is a public holiday in my state. In my opinion and based on the sources I have found I must not work on public holidays of the state where my place of work is. Per my contract, my place of work is my home.

I have found one source, that says the following:

Maßgeblich für die Feiertage sind weder der Sitz des Arbeitgebers noch der Wohnsitz des Arbeitnehmenden, sondern die tatsächlichen und rechtlichen Verhältnisse am Arbeitsort.

Which translates roughly to:

Neither the employer's registered office nor the employee's place of residence is decisive for public holidays, but the actual and legal circumstances at the place of work.

I have tried to find a confirmation for this statement in the actual laws, but I did only find one example where something like this is mentioned: Erste Durchführungsbestimmung zur Verordnung über die Einführung gesetzlicher Feiertage § 2 :

Für die Arbeitnehmer gilt als Feiertag der für das Territorium festgelegte Feiertag, in dem der Beschäftigungsbetrieb seinen Sitz hat oder in dem sich der mit den Arbeitnehmern vereinbarte Arbeitsort befindet.

Which translates to this:

For employees, a public holiday shall be the holiday established for the territory in which the employment enterprise has its registered office or in which the place of work agreed with the employees is located.

What is confusing me here is the 'or' in this law. I am uncertain how to understand the or in this sentence. In my opinion, it could be either one of those:

  • It's the where the office sits or where you work from, depending on someone's choice or terms in the contract between employer & employee

  • It's where the office sits if you work from that location, or your actual place of work in case it differs from the office location

Additionally, my contract states that the public holidays at the location of my office are to be used. But depending on the interpretation of that 'or' this clause could be invalid or the first source I've linked could be wrong. This is something that has to be discussed with a lawyer, though. This question is more about the interpretation of wording in German laws, I guess.

  • 3
    I would take the holidays from both places ;-)
    – PMF
    Oct 24, 2022 at 14:06
  • @PMF no, you can't. It's actually rather simple...
    – Trish
    Oct 24, 2022 at 14:14
  • That was sarcasm @Trish
    – boatcoder
    Oct 24, 2022 at 21:08
  • I don't know the answer but I am sure the quoted law is not relevant. This is a law of the GDR in the transition-period before the reunification. It may be in force in some of the "new" states, but surely is not in all German states.
    – K-HB
    Nov 10, 2022 at 12:41
  • 1
    @PMF Work for an embassy! They tend to be closed both on holidays for both countries.
    – gerrit
    Nov 18, 2022 at 20:28

1 Answer 1


Where your office is, is your designated workspace.

You get the public holidays wherever your official office address is. If you live and work in Hessia, then you get the 11 public holidays there. If you live in Hessia but work right over the border in Bavaria, you get 14 public holidays, even if you live in Hessia.

Now, where do you work in case of remote work? That depends on what your official work address is. Do you connect remotely to an office in Bavaria where you are located on paper or do you have no such office? If you have an office you work at officially, then that is your agreed-upon, designated workplace, and in our example, if that's in Bavaria you get the 14 public holidays.

If you don't are designated to work in an office in Bavaria and may log in remotely there, then your agreed-upon, designated workplace is your home address, and if that is in Hessia, you get the 11 public holidays there.

Where your company's central is...

Now, let's assume the company is seated in Brandenburg, which has 12 public holidays. That doesn't matter at all: the Feieratagsrecht of the place you work (officially) dictates your public holidays. So either the laws of your designated location apply: either Hessia's 11 public holidays if your home is the designated workplace, or Bavaria's 14 if the office you connect to is the designated workplace but you remote-connect to it.

It would by the way matter if you are designated to be in a location for that exact day: you could be designated to work in a location that has no public holiday on that day, then you don't get that day.

However, the Brandenburg company can decide to say "You get our extra holidays in addition. Have fun with the extra free day" - that'd be extra in the contract, not the legal requirement.

  • Source for this official vs actual place of work distinction? Or are you trying to explain issues around concepts like “mobiles Arbeiten” in contrast to true homeoffice?
    – amon
    Oct 24, 2022 at 15:04
  • @amon 2nd link., quoting Kaiser/Dunkl/Hold/Kleinsorge in „Kommentar zum EFZG“: Allgemeine Rechtsauffassung ist: Es gilt stets die Feiertagsregelung am Arbeitsort des Mitarbeiters, nicht die an seinem Wohnsitz. - *common interpretation of the law is: relevant are the public holidays at the place of work, not the living place"
    – Trish
    Oct 24, 2022 at 15:13
  • @Trish But the OP explicitly says that the work contract specifies that the workplace is his home, I would then assume this takes precedence.
    – PMF
    Oct 24, 2022 at 16:56
  • @PMF If the home is the designated workplace (see last paragraph in the first section), then yes, that is the place you look at.
    – Trish
    Oct 24, 2022 at 17:02

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