Digital Employment Certificate

What Is an Electronic Certificate Of Employment and How Does It Work in Germany?

From January 1, 2023, the electronic notification procedure will be mandatory for all employers. It is no longer possible to send the certificate of employment from former employees to the Federal Employment Agency in paper form.

If requested by former employees or the Employment Agency, employers must issue a certificate of employment. The certificate of employment is a form that contains, among other things, information about the work performed by the employee, when it began and ended the reason for the termination, and the amount of the wages. The Federal Employment Agency (BA) requires the certificate of employment to decide on entitlement to unemployment benefits or transitional allowance. The obligation to issue a certificate of employment is stipulated in § 312 SGB 3 .

No more paper certificates of employment

So far, employers can send the employment certificate to the BA in paper form. Since 2014 there has also been the voluntary option of using the "BEA procedure" ("BEA: Bescheinigungen elektronisch annehmen, Accept Electronic Certificates").

From January 1, 2023, according to the BA, digital transmission will be mandatory for all companies, regardless of size or industry. Accordingly, the following certificates may no longer be sent in paper form, but only electronically:

  • certificate of employment
  • EU employment certificate
  • Additional Income Certificate

The legal basis for the new obligation is the 7th SGB IV Amendment Act. In addition, from January 1, 2023, employees will no longer have the right to object, the BA explains. This means that employees can no longer object to electronic data transmission. For the employer, in turn, there is no obligation to inform its former employees about the digital transmission of their data. Affected employees should receive the printout directly from the employment agency.

How does BEA transmission work?

According to the BA, employees can use their own payroll accounting software to transmit the employment certificate, provided that it supports BEA. The BA's employer magazine - Factor A - explains how employers find out whether this is the case: "Use this link to the subpage on, select payroll programs under 'Program type' and set in the overview of the modules Tick ​​the 'Electronic employment certificates from the Federal Employment Agency (BEA procedure)'. Now look in the list to see whether your software is included."

The employment agency recommends contacting the software provider if your own payroll accounting software does not support BEA. Alternatively, employers would have the option of submitting the certificates via a free standard version of social insurance on the Internet ( (

Are there any exceptions to the obligation?

According to the employment agency, it is still possible to submit paper certificates for employment relationships that end by December 31, 2022.

What if the employer makes mistakes when filling out the form?

Employers can fill out the certificate again and send it back to the employment agency if they make mistakes in content, explains the BA. In this case, the employee should receive notification of the change.

You can find below on the table the most frequently asked questions FAQ.

Question   Answer
The BEA service has been around since 2014. What will change on January 1, 2023?

  The certificates must now be submitted electronically; submission in paper form is then no longer possible. As part of the progressive digitization of the working world, the use of the digital process is mandatory from January 1st, 2023 due to the 7th SGB IV Amendment Act.

In which cases is BEA used?

  Your company only has to transmit the data for the certificate of employment if the employee or the BA requests it. By transmitting and using this already digitized data, the processing of the application for unemployment benefits and thus the granting of benefits can be carried out more quickly.

What happens to the employee's right to object to electronic data transmission?

  From January 1, 2023, the obligation for employers to provide information and the right of employees to object to electronic transmission will no longer apply.

As an employer, do I have to hand over the certificate to the employee?

  No, the employees receive the certificate from the BA. This also eliminates inquiries about the whereabouts of the certificate of employment, because the employees receive a copy directly from the BA.

How can the electronic submission be made?

  Many payroll programs offer a corresponding function. Alternatively, the application can be used.

How do I find out whether my payroll software already supports the certified, electronic transmission of employment certificates?

  Use this link to go to the subpage on , select payroll accounting programs under "Program type" and tick "Electronic employment certificates from the Federal Employment Agency (BEA procedure)" in the overview of the modules. Now look in the list to see if your software is included.

What can I do if I don't use payroll accounting software or my software doesn't support the process?

  You can use the electronic completion aid .
In addition, if you report your need to use BEA to the manufacturer of your payroll software, they can integrate the function in a future version.

I would like to use for the BEA procedure. Do I need the paid Comfort version for this?

  The submission of employment certificates within the framework of BEA is possible with the free standard version of An overview of the other functions of and can be found on this page in the "Product description" area.

Can I still submit the certificate of employment in paper form?   From January 1, 2023, only digital transmission will be possible. This saves you as an employer: in costs for creation, printing, and mailing as well as time because fewer inquiries from the BA can be expected. For employment relationships that ended by December 31, 2022, the option to submit the application in paper form remains.

Does the obligation to submit certificates electronically apply to all companies, regardless of size or industry?   Yes, the obligation applies to all employment relationships that end after January 1, 2023. There is also no provision for a transitional period. For employment relationships that ended before December 31, 2022, the certificates can be submitted in paper form. However, electronic transmission is also recommended in these cases, as it brings many advantages, such as time and cost savings and lower susceptibility to errors.

Has BEA been sufficiently tested in advance?   The process has been used on a voluntary basis since 2014 and has been continuously developed since then. It is now well-established among companies in Germany.

Where can employers find BEA support?

The BA recommends contacting the product manufacturer if you have questions about your own payroll accounting software. Questions about the electronic form-filling help will be answered by the support. The BA has also set up a BEA hotline. This is free of charge and can be reached at 0800/4555527.