Protection against poaching of workers in Germany by contractual partners

Due to the shortage of skilled workers in Germany, the know-how of skilled workers and top performers is of crucial importance for the success of a company on the market.

For this reason, companies try to protect themselves against the poaching of their employees by agreeing on non-solicitation clauses.

Contractual prohibition of poaching employees is permissible

According to the case law of the Federal Supreme Court, the agreement of a contractual prohibition of poaching with a contractual partner is generally permissible if certain restrictions are observed. In doing so, the Federal Supreme Court is following the requirements for contractual non-competition clauses.

Conditions for the effectiveness of contractual no poaching clauses.

There are high legal hurdles for the effective enforcement of contractual no-poaching clauses in Germany, which are set by § 75 f HGB. In addition, the interest of the employee’s professional development, as compared to the employer’s interest in retaining the know-how of its employees in the company or preventing competitive disadvantages, is generally to be given priority. This is prevented by a contractual non-solicitation clause. Companies are recommended to agree on regulations that indicate a special need for protection or a relationship of trust between the contracting parties. This increases the enforceability of contractual no poaching clauses.

Grau Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB offers legal support in day-to-day business, especially for foreign companies operating in Germany or suppliers of German companies – the whole spectrum of German business law, starting with corporate and commercial lawdistribution lawlabor lawinsolvency law and debt management.

If you have any further questions, please contact our office at  +49 (0) 40 180 364 020 or

Do you have any questions or require our consultation?

Contact us. We will further help you.