New Laws January 2016

Euro cash money

I know this is long overdue, but better late than never right?

Education Laws

BaföG

BaföG receipients should be celebrating an increase of 7% to their BaföG. The pay out will increase to  649 Euro for those living away from their parents and 451 Euro for those still living with their parents. The new maximum pay-out will now be set to 735 Euro.

 

Labor Laws

New Sick Leave Sheet (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung)

Applying for a sick leave in 2016 will be a bit more complicated than before. From now onwards, employees will get a new sick leave sheet from the doctor. The new sick sheet replaces the old yellow one. The new one will include 4 sheets, one for the patient, a copy for the health insurance company, the employer and the doctor. This will ensure the patient knows when their sick leave ends and can apply for a new sick leave before the current one runs out. This is important as doctors will no longer be allowed to issue a back dated sick leave sheet.

 

Social Security Contributions for Midijobbers 

Employees in the midijob bracket (€450,01 – €850/ a month) will pay less social security contributions this year. If you’d like to find out your new social security contributions in the midijob bracket, you can use an online “Gleitzonenrechner“.

 

Reformed Labor Laws in Catholic Institutions

Catholic diocese have come to an agreement to reform their labor laws. From this year, employees in catholic institutions will no longer be fired based on their choice of partners or marriage life as was previously the case. With these new reforms employees in catholic institutions join “normal” employees in only being fired for grave misconduct.

 

Higher Minimum Wage

After the introduction of the 8,50 euro minimum wage, 2016 brings along even higher wages in some industries, some of which are:

  • Dachdecker: 12,50 Euro (nationwide)
  • Abfallwirtschaft: 9,10 Euro (nationwide)
  • Berufliche Weiterbildung: 14,00 Euro (West), 13,50 Euro (East)
  • Geld- und Wertdienste: 10,11 – 12,56 Euro (West), 9,33 Euro (East/Berlin)
  • Geld- und Werttransport: 11,80 – 15,73 Euro (West), 11,24 (East/Berlin)
  • Fleischwirtschaft: from December 8,75 Euro (nationwide)
  • Pflegebereich 9,75 Euro (West), 9,00 Euro (Ost)
  • Wäschereidienstleistung: 8,75 Euro, from July (nationwide)
  • Textil- und Bekleidungsindustrie: 8,25 Euro, from December 8,75 Euro (nationwide)
  • Leiharbeit/Zeitarbeit: from June 9,00 Euro (West), 8,50 Euro (East)
  • Forstdienstleistung und Gartenbau: 8,00 Euro (West), 7,90 Euro (East)

 

Consumer Laws

Banking

From February 1st, it will be compulsory for those transferring money online, to do so using the 22-digit IBAN code. Although the IBAN and BIC were introduced some time back it was not compulsory. (READ: All You Need to Know About the SEPA Payment System)

IBAN

 

Postal Services

The Deutsche Post has increased posting costs yet again. The last three years have seen the highest increase in 30 years in the postal costs.  The standard letter up to 20g posted within Germany now costs 70 cents from 62 cents while it costs 90 cents from 80 cents to send abroad. A large parcel of up to 500g costs 3,55 euros from 3,45 euros.

 

Disposal of E-waste

This new law will allow you to hand back your old electronics to large shops like Mediamarkt and Saturn. This will be open for smaller electronics e.g. cell phones, TVs, however, for larger electronics, you will be required to buy a similar machine from the shop before handing in your old one. You will however not be required to present a receipt to hand over your gadget at these shops.

For now some of these shops are still charging to take the gadgets but from 24th July, the new law will be enforced and they’ll no longer charge.

E-waste

 

Traffic Laws

First Aid Course

The mandatory first aid course potential German drivers undertake before getting their driver’s licence has been updated and will now include 9 hours worth of content instead of the former 8 hour content.

 

Electric Cars

Electric cars registered on 1st January 2016 will only be tax-deductible for 5years instead of the previously 10 years.

 

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