Can I digitally sign a work contract in Germany?

Can I digitally sign a work contract in Germany?

Germany loves to keep things on paper. But if you’re about to start a job and need to get the contract to your new employer quickly, is it possible to sign the document digitally?

Do all German work contracts have to be signed with wet ink?

When you start a job in Germany, it is typical that your new employer will ask you to sign a physical copy of your contract and return it to them via post or in person. But a contract can also be valid when it is signed digitally.

Speaking to ntv, employment lawyer Volker Görzel said that since employment contracts may be agreed upon verbally, “you can also conclude it digitally”. Digitally signed contracts are equally as valid as physical copies signed with wet ink.

However, according to Germany’s Evidence Act, regardless of whether employees sign a new contract digitally or in wet ink, employers must provide their employees with a signed, physical copy of the employment terms and conditions. This document can be provided as part of or separately from the employment contract.

Fixed-term work contracts still require handwritten signatures 

Furthermore, while employment contracts can be digitally signed, exceptions exist for fixed-term contracts, Görzel explained.

In the case of fixed-term employment contracts, such as probationary period contracts, cover or temporary work, a handwritten signature is mandatory for the contract to be valid in Germany.

Thumb image credit: Bangkok Click Studio / 

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

Read more



Leave a comment