New Laws and Regulations August 2015

Laws

This month comes along with many new laws and regulations, some very good ones and some other that we’d rather not have, but all in all, a great changes this month.

Xenophobia and Racist motives to be considered earlier

As a consequence of the recent NSU murders, courts will in future be required to consider xenophobic and racist motives earlier in their investigations and issuance of charges. The Federal Attorney General should also be involved in investigations earlier than it currently happens.

The recommendations of the Bundestag NSU investigation Committee will be implemented this month.

 

Bleiberecht

Foreigners living in Germany and have been issued with the Duldung for years but have been well integrated, can support themselves and their families without depending on the government and have chances of getting a residence permit, should have the residence permit issued faster. While for foreigners whose chances of getting a residence permit are slim, should be deported faster rather than continue being issued with the Duldung for years.

 

Mietpreisbremse

This regulation basically aims to prevent unexpected inflation of rent prices as has been seen in many big cities. It dictates that house owners may only increase the rent price by at most 10% when a new tenant moves in. This will only apply in specific areas e.g. University towns or towns with high population.

Bayern will in August join Berlin, Hamburg and NRW as the only states that have taken up this law.

 

New Bahn-cards

The Deutsche Bahn will be introducing new bahn cards this month that will have shorter validity period of only 3months. For teens, young adults up to the age of 26 and University students, Deutsche Bahn has introduced the “My BahnCard 50”, going for €69 and valid for a year. A huge saving considering a normal BahnCard 50 costs €255. This is an attempt to increase their market share, as more young people prefer to take buses rather than use trains.

 

Fare evasion will cost more

From August 1st, it will be cheaper to buy a valid ticket instead of evading the fare. The fine will increase from €40 to €60. This was to be introduced in July, but most Traffic organisations weren’t ready, thus the delay to this year.

 

Modernisation of Ausbildungen

The Federal Institute for Vocational Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung BIBB) has updated 17 Ausbildungen professions e.g. Textil- und Modenäher (Seamstresses), Wachszieher, Notarfachangestellte (notary’s assistant), Gießereimechaniker, Holzmechaniker. (Check out for a later article with details of the updated Ausbildungen)

 

Child Support, Kindergeld and Tax-free Child Allowance (Kinderfreibetrag)

The Düsseldorfer Tabelle has been updated yet again this year and another update is expected early 2016. Minimum child support will be increased from €317 to €328 Euro, for children aged 0-6years of age. For children up to the age of 12, the new amount will be €376 while for those up to the age of 18, the amount has been set to €504. You can read up on the earlier changes here: Düsseldorfer Tabelle Updated.

Kindergeld will this month be increased by 4 euro, this will apply from January 1st of this year. For the first and second child, the amount will now be €188, while for the third child will be €194 a month.

The tax-free child allowance increases to €4512 in this year. This is expected to be increased yet again in 2016 to €4608.

 

Betreuungsgeld removed

Last week, the German High Court overturned the controversial Betreuungsgeld. The money that had been introduced for parents that choose to stay home with their children aged below 3 years instead of taking them to day care. Those that enjoyed it, kudos as it will continue to be paid out until the parent’s time for it, runs out. Some federal states have however decided to continue paying out the amount, e.g. Bayern. Whether this will hold is yet to be seen.

 

More liberalised Labor Law in the Catholic Church

Divorced employees who later remarry and work in church run institutions e.g. hospitals, kindergartens and schools, may no longer have their marital status as a reason for dismissal. Also a registered partnership is not an obstacle to working for church-run institutions.

Although these changes were voted in unopposed by the Bishop conference earlier this year, these changes won’t apply nation-wide. Only 23 of the 27 catholic dioceses will be taking in these new changes.

 

Minimum Wage 

Employers will no longer have to keep work time records for employees earning from €2000 gross. The earlier regulation exempted those earning higher than €2958.

Hairdressers and employees in the cash services will from this month begin to earn minimum wage.

 

Bafög

The transition from Bachelor into Masters does some times bring drama with the Bafög pay out. From August 1st, a simple registration for a Masters program will be enough to continue getting Bafög paid out for a whole year. This applies even if the last bachelor’s exam hasn’t been done and a Bachelor’s certificate has not been issued.

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