African Impulse - Working in Germany
Germany is one of the most highly developed and efficient industrial nations and is ranked the world’s fourth largest national economy after the USA, Japan, and China. With a population of 82 million Germany is furthermore the largest and most important market in the European Union (EU).The Economy keeps creating jobs, but in some areas, it is rather difficult to find the right employees. Sound economic conditions and the excellent qualifications of its workforce have been a contributing factor to this. “Made in Germany” is a widely recognized slogan around the world. The greatest force of the German Economy is not its major companies like VW, Daimler, Siemens etc. but the “Mittelstand” which is made up of small and medium sized highly specialized companies. There are a lot of opportunities for those who would like to work in Germany. It is very important however to have an understanding of what kind of employment is possible and how the tax system is structured. For those coming with qualifications that do not match those in Germany, we can provide information on how to go about recognizing their certificates. We want to attempt to give you some information about working in Germany, but provide links to sites where you can get more specialized information.
Germany has a well-developed social security system that protects workers and their families against major risks like illness, occupational accidents, unemployment or aging. Except you take us minor employment, working in Germany means you are subject to social security contributions. Let us consider unemployment insurance for instance which in case of unemployment provides the unemployed person with income for a period of time if they had been insured for at least one year during the last two years and are in search of a new job. This insurance also means the Federal Employment Agency supports the unemployed in providing advice and helping search for a new job. When you work, you also pay taxes, based on your marital status and the tax class chosen. The tax class may be automatically assigned, especially for unmarried persons. You can find information about the German Tax system for employees here
Minijob employment (geringfügige Beschäftigung)
This is a form of employment where the regular remuneration does not exceed a legally defined maximum amount of €450 per month (Up till 2012, this was limited to €400) or which is limited to a short term duration. It is also called mini job. It comes with certain social insurance and tax relief considerations. Here the weekly or monthly working time and hours are irrelevant. One can also combine two of such employments as long as the total pay does not exceed the limit.
Minor employment can be carried out alongside normal insurable employment. Taxes in this case are not included in those of the insurable employment but the minor job is rather subjected to a flat rate fee. Be careful not to do any additional minor job that might lead to compulsory insurance.
The worker must not do the work regularly. The important thing is that the sum of earned does not exceed €5400 in a year.
A short-term employment is when the employment is contractually limited within a calendar year to a maximum of three months or a total of 70 working days. It should be noted that this form of employment cannot be exercised professionally (done regularly and not spontaneously). This form of employment is open to - people who receive unemployment benefits, ALG II-recipients (Hartz IV recipients), people in parental and or unpaid leave.
Further links on working in Germany
Some useful links for you