New Laws and Regulations May 2018

New month, new laws. Lots of new regulations to do with your data, increased minimum wage for some professions and an extra long holiday for school kids in NRW.


Storage of flight passengers data

Starting this month, all passengers’ data for foreign travel will be stored  In addition to passenger names, data including the flight number and the seat in the aircraft will be stored. The data is to be stored for 5 years, whereby it should be depersonalized after 6 months if not in use.

The data are collected by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) and may be passed on to the European Investigation Authority if necessary. The aim of this extended flight data storage is an easier search for criminals.


Einwohnermeldeämter to Share Household Data with GEZ

If you have not been paying the GEZ fee, then you better register before the GEZ authorities come after you. This month the residents’ registration offices (Einwohnermeldeämter) will be sharing all household data which includes: name, address, marital status, date of birth and the day of moving into that address.

The fee formerly known as GEZ-Gebühr and now simply named ARD and ZDF contributions (Beitragsservice von ARD und ZDF) is a contribution of €17,50 made per household per month to the public broadcasting companies ARD and ZDF. Everyone living in Germany is expected to pay. Unlike previously, where the fee was charged per gadget per person, it is now simply charged per household regardless of how many people live in it and how many gadgets they own.


Improved Protection for EU Citizens Abroad

EU Citizens visiting or living in third states will now have better protection during emergencies even outside the EU by relying to the entire network of European diplomatic missions. This will especially be critical in instances where the home country does not have a mission in the country where the emergency takes place.

Consular assistance can be applied for, serious illnesses, arrests, the loss or theft of passports or natural disasters. According to the EU Commission, almost seven million EU citizens have traveled or lived in countries and territories where their home state has no embassy or consulate


New Data Protection Regulation in the EU

On 25 May 2018, the EU Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) enters into force. From now on, private data may no longer be used (for example, by apps or companies) without the owner having expressly consenting to it.

In addition, more transparency in the data transfer should be provided. For example, data disclosure to third parties; the purpose of such disclosure and the duration of storage of that data must be disclosed. The only drawback to this new regulation is that it only applies to data stored from 25th May 2018 on wards.

Minimum age for WhatsApp use increased to 16

Previously the age restriction for Whatsapp users was set at 13 and any users younger than that needed parental consent. Now with this new regulation, the minimum age has been increased to 16.  Existing WhatsApp users can expect an age query to confirm conformity with this regulation. However, WhatsApp will not go out of its way to check users’ ages.

This new rule only applies to European countries. Outside Europe, the minimum age remains 13 years. The reason for the European minimum age change for WhatsApp is the new data protection regulation.

Higher minimum wage in craft: Painters (Lackierer), Scaffolders (Gerüstbauer), Stonemasons (Steinmetze)

In May 2018, the minimum wage for some professions will increase. This includes:

  • Stonemasons (Steinmetze) and stone sculptors (Steinbildhauer)  in East Germany will have a wage adjustment from 11.20 euros to 11.40 euros to reflect the wages in West Germany
  • Scaffolders (Gerüstbauer) have a wage increase suggestion from 11 Euro to 11,35 Euro. Employers are not obligated to up hold this increase.
  • Painters (Lackierer und Maler) should expect a wage increase from 10,30 Euro to 10,60 Euro and another increase on 1st May 2019, to 10.85 euros per hour.


Longer School Holidays in NRW

For the first time since 1966, the Pfingsten holidays will last a full week. The reason for this is the favorable timing of the holidays and the fact that unused vacation days were available.

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