New Laws and Regulations July 2017

Kama kawa, new laws with the new month.

Family Law

New Laws on Child Support (Unterhaltsvorschuss)

From this month, the state has revised the law on Unterhaltsvorschuss. Usually this amount was paid to single parents whose partners did not or paid very little in child support. This was only paid for children aged below 12 and could only be paid out for a maximum of 72 months.

With the new regulations, single parents will be allowed to get Unterhaltsvorschuss until the child is 18. However children aged above 12 will only get Unterhaltsvorschuss if they don’t get Hartz IV and if the parent their live with earns at least 600 euros even if they are on Hartz IV.

The new amounts for Unterhaltsvorschuss are:

 

  • 0 – 6 years: 150 Euro
  • 7 – 12 years: 201 Euro
  • 13 – 18 years: 268 Euro

 

 

Consumer Laws

Pre-paid sim cards only with a valid ID

From July, you will no longer be allowed to buy sim cards without providing valid identification. Although registration of sim cards was previously required, stores were not explicitly required to check the identification of buyers. The aim of this new regulation is to fight terrorism by limiting access to sim cards for the wrong people.

 

Health Insurance Firms to pay for Video Consultations

Need a consultation with a doctor but the only specialist available is kilometers away? You will no longer be required to physically visit a doctor for your health insurance to recognise and pay for it. From this month, consultations with the doctor done via video will be paid for just like traditional consultations.

 

Fewer co-payments for medicines

From this month patients will have the possibility to be exempt from co-paying for some medications. This will be possible if the doctor prescribes medication that costs at least  30 per cent lower than the price set by the statutory health insurance.

Previously patients had to pay between five and ten euros per drug, regardless of price.

 

Labour Laws

Higher Pension

If you’re already in retirement then here’s some good news. From this month, pension payments will be increased by 1.9% in West Germany and 3.59% in the East. Those who went into retirement until March 2004, already got the increased payments with their June pay, while those who retired from April 2004 will receive the payments at the end of July.

 

Flexirente – Working in Retirement Simplified

A few hurdles to working after retirement have been done away with. The previous monthly limit of 450 euros (which could be exceeded for only two months by an amount of up to 900 euros), to which one could be paid without pension deductions, has now been replaced by an annual indemnity limit of 6300 euros. Forty percent of all that exceeds the indemnity limit is deducted from the pension.

 

Stricter laws for gambling halls

For those planning to set up a gambling hall, this month brings with it stricter laws. Among those laws are:

  • Gambling halls will no longer be allowed to be named “Casinos”. Only state gambling houses (staatliche Spielbanken) will be allowed to carry the name Casino
  • Gambling halls will no longer be allowed to set up ATMs on or near their premises
  • They may only be set up 100 meters away from schools. (In Berlin, 200 meters).
  • The distance between neighbouring gambling halls has also been changed. This is however specified in the state e.g. in Berlin it’s 500m while NRW is 350m)
  • Fines for violation of the law have also been increased for gambling hall owners.

 

Prostitutes to register with pictures and Brothels to require authorisation to set up

Prostitutes working in Germany will be required to register not only with their name and address as previously required but also with a recent photo. This is to reduce the sharing of credentials in the business.

For those planning to set up a brothel, authorization from the authorities will be required before setting up the business. Potential brothel owners will need to fulfill specific requirements on hygiene, personnel, space and safety.

This is aimed at reducing exploitation of prostitutes, insecure business models and violence within the business.

The law has however not been received well by those in the business with many collecting signatures to have the law revised.

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