The right to a qualified interim certificate

According to § 109 GewO, the employee can request a (final) certificate upon termination of the employment relationship. The conditions under which an employee can claim the issue of an interim certificate are not regulated by law.

Insofar as there are no collective bargaining regulations, the obligation to issue an interim certificate may arise as a secondary contractual obligation.

Such an obligation presupposes that the employee is dependent on an interim reference for a valid reason.

That is among other things. then accept if

  • the employee needs the interim reference for application purposes due to the imminent termination of the employment relationship,
  • the manager changes or
  • the activity changes .

After expiry of the notice period or after the end of the term of a fixed-term contract, the employee can only claim one (final) certificate.

However, if the parties dispute in court about the termination of the employment relationship, there is a valid reason for issuing an interim reference. This reason does not apply when the termination litigation has been legally concluded .

Thereafter, in the case decided by the Federal Labor Court, the employee was able to claim the issue of an interim certificate despite the final decision of the Federal Labor Court on the application for a condition control. The necessary valid reason is to be seen in the change in activity required for the duration of the identified unfit for service and the associated change in supervisor .

Federal Labor Court, judgment of May 20, 2020 – 7 AZR 100/19


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