Everything you ever wanted to know about part-time employment (Geringfügige Beschäftigung)

There needs to be money in the till at the end of the month; unless of course, you’re a millionaire or your parents totally support you. Sometimes, it’s already enough to have a mini-job. Mini-jobs are categorized as part-time employment (Geringfügige Beschäftigung). However, there is a lot that you need to watch out for. We will clarify any ambiguous terms, so you can better find your way around somewhat bureaucratic German.

PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT (Geringfügige Beschäftigung)

Part-time employment is a type of employment that is subject to special social insurance and tax obligations. Part-time employment (Geringfügige Beschäftigung) according to labor law:

  • remuneration (Entgelt) may not exceed (Entgeltgeringüfigkeit) €450/month or
  • their employment is limited to a maximum of three months or 70 work days per calendar year (Zeitgeringfügigkeit)

It must be expressly stipulated in the employment contract which category this belongs to according to the respective case.

REMUNERATIVENESS (Entgeltgeringfügigkeit)

  • regulated in accordance to § 8 Sec. 1 No. 1 SGB IV
  • remuneration (Arbeitsentgelt) does not exceed €450/month (remuneration means a consistent income plus special payments like e.g. Christmas bonus)
  • fluctuating payments have to be estimated
  • those who are regularly paid more than €450/month are legally required to have insurance (this can be exceeded up to 3x/year without consequences)
  • This is considered regularity when the employment is recurring and takes place over months/years.

TERM EMPLOYMENT (Zeitgeringfügigkeit)

  • regulated in accordance to § 8 Sec. 1 No. 2 SGB IV
  • the activity must be limited to a specific time period
  • maximum of 3 months (carried out weekly with a min. of 5 days) or
  • 70 work days (carried out weekly with less than 5 days)
  • you may not work professionally (“professionally” means the job represents secondary profitability for the employee)

PRIVATE HOUSEHOLD

Normally, part-time employment (Geringfügige Beschäftigung) can be practiced from home. This is the case when the activity is based on the private household. An additional possibility would be if the employment is already carried out by members of the household (child care, household help etc.). Finally, the work can be done from home if the employer is also a member of the household.

MULTIPLE JOBS SIMULTANEOUSLY

Multiple part-time jobs (mehrere geringfügige Beschäftigungen)

  • payments are aggregated
  • payment limit is €450/month
  • limited weekly work days: < 5x and > 5x/week --> max. 70 days min. 5x/week --> 3 months (if not a full month, then 90 days)

Permanent part-time employment (dauerhafte geringfügige Beschäftigung) and short-term employment (kurzfristige Beschäftigung)

  • each separate approaches
  • no aggregation

Main employment liable to insurance deductions and part-time work (Geringfügige Beschäftigung) from the same employer

  • aggregation
  • employment is considered a standard employment relationship

Main employment liable to insurance deductions (versicherungspflichtige Beschäftigung) and multiple part-time jobs (mehrere geringfügige Beschäftigungen)

  • first mini-job is not liable for insurance deductions
  • each additional job leads to aggregation with the main job and is liable to insurance deductions

WHO RECEIVES SOCIAL INSURANCE?

Term employment (commercial):

  • no health insurance
  • no pension insurance
  • individual premiums for accident insurance
  • no unemployment insurance
  • no long-term care insurance
  • tax burden determined individually according to tax bracket or flatrate of 25%

Term employment (private household):

  • no health insurance
  • no pension insurance
  • 1.6% accident insurance
  • no unemployment insurance
  • no long-term care insurance
  • tax burden determined individually according to tax bracket or flatrate of 25%

Remunerativeness (commercial):

  • employer covers 13% of health care costs
  • employer covers 15% of pension insurance and the employee covers up to 3.7%
  • individual accident insurance contribution
  • no unemployment insurance
  • no long-term care insurance
  • tax burden is 2% flat rate or individual according to tax bracket

Remunerativeness (private household):

  • employer covers 5% of health care costs
  • employer covers 5% of pension insurance and the employee covers up to 13.7%
  • Accident insurance 1.6%
  • no unemployment insurance
  • no long-term care insurance
  • tax burden is 2% flat rate or individual according to tax bracket

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