Legal question: New take it or leave it work contract

Due to some fortunate timing I work with a very favorable contract compared to my peers in the industry. There’s been some company changes and I assume they will try to get me to sign a different contract that is less favorable for me. I won’t go into details, just to keep it brief, but I expect to lose about 10% of my earnings.

Does anybody know: If I don’t sign the new contract and they won’t keep me with the old one… Am I fired or did I quit? I assume this is important for unemployment benefits.

Don’t worry I will obviously talk to a lawyer in that case, I just thought someone might’ve experienced something similar.

EDIT: Oh man, I had planned to add this, but in the end I forgot: The contract is an open ended non fixed term contract.

Is the old contract a fixed term/with end date? If yes, and you dont get a new contract/renew the old one, you simply stop working for that company.

It‘s neither quitting nor getting fired in that case.

But you know that term length beforehand, so it will probably be important for unemployment.

I would call the nearest RAV. They are usually happy to advise you and answer such questions :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry that I missed to add the info. I updated it. It’s an open ended contract.

Your contract can’t be modify without your agrement. If you refuse it, your employer has to fire you respecting the termination term.

Your employer also can termine the contract and propose you a new contract. Without your agrement the have to get through a termination.

This is called an “Änderungskündigung”, described well here for example,

See esp. under “Auswirkungen auf die Arbeitslosenversicherung”.

Re how unemployment agency (RAV) would see this, I’m not sure. The company is “firing” you if you don’t accept, but they are offering a new contract at the same time.

Getting fired is obviously better re your benefits from RAV.
But when you knock at RAV after getting fired (because you didn’t accept the new contract), I imagine you will get judged a certain “Mitschuld”/guilt at now being unemployed, because you actually could’ve prevented your unemployment. 10% less salary would probably be deemed “zumutbar”/ok enough to prevent unemployment. A “Mitschuld” leads to X Einstelltage, basically you have to wait 10 to 60 working days before they start paying, depending on how they decide how big your fault is (this decision is often a bit subjective, but the decision can also be fought against, but that’d probably require a lawyer.

How will RAV know?

RAV will demand the termination letter.
If the termination letter mentions you declining the new contract, they would know.
If it doesn’t, that would be better.