Living in Germany: Several changes in law have been in Germany which will have a direct impact on the lives of Africans living and working in all parts of Germany.
LIVING AND WORKING IN GERMANY IN 2021
From January 2021, the minimum wage has been increased from 9.35 euros to 9.50 euros per hour.
The minimum wage has been in force in Germany since 1st January 2015 when it was fixed at 8.50 euros per hour. Two years later it was increased to 8.84 euros per hour.
In 2019 the minimum wage was increased to 9.19 euros per hour while in 202 it was 9.35 euros an hour.
The minimum wage will continue to increase until it reaches 10.45 euros per hour in 2022.
Slaughterhouses are no longer allowed to hire posted workers from 1st January 2021.
The law was introduced to compel slaughterhouses to employ staff directly in industrial abattoirs rather than sub-contracting to avert further coronavirus outbreaks exacerbated by poor working conditions.
The new rule prohibiting subcontracting is intended to put an end to the common practice in German slaughterhouses where workers from Eastern Europe were hired by companies in their countries of origin and then posted to Germany on the basis of “service contracts”. Thanks to this system German companies had very few social and health obligations towards these workers, as they were not formally their employers.
Salaries for interns have also been increased for the second time. From 2021, they will receive a minimum wage of 550 euros per month. The next increase is planned for 2022 and will amount to 585 euros, while from 2023 it will increase to 620 euros.
SOCIAL BENEFITS IN GERMANY IN 2021
Increase in Kindergeld and Kinderfreibetrag child benefits
From 1st January 2021, the child supplement (Kinderzuschlag) for families with low incomes will increase to a maximum amount of €205. This is an additional supplement to child benefit (Kindergeld) which all parents whose income is just above the Hartz IV welfare level are entitled to.
At the same time, from 1st January 2021, Kindergeld has been increased to €219 per month for the first and second child. The third child will receive
€225 while the fourth child will receive €250.
Social assistance for the unemployed – Hartz IV
The unemployment and welfare package known as “Hartz IV” (“Hartz four”) will increase by 14 euros in 2021 to 446 euros. People living alone will receive 446 euros.
The amount to be given to young people aged 14-17 has increased by 45 euros to 373 euros while the amount to given to children will increase to 283 euros of 250 euros.
The amount to be given to children between the ages of 6 and 13 will be 309 euros.
The standard rate of Hartz IV allowance for spouses and partners is currently € 401. People under 25 who live with their parents in 2021 will receive 357 euros per month.
Read more information on German Laws and legislation here: Legal News and Guides – Germany
Wohngeld Housing Supplement Increase
Life in Germany is not the cheapest for Africans living and working in Germany. This is mainly due to high rents. Anyone working in Germany, regardless of nationality, can benefit from the Wohngeld Housing Supplement.
All the people entitled to Wohngeld will receive 15 euros more per month, with an additional 3.60 euros for each additional family member.
READ ALSO: How to prove you’re a resident in Germany
Compulsory vaccination of children against measles
Parents of children who go to school or kindergarten for the first time must provide a certificate of vaccination against measles or rove that the child has already had the disease.
They have until March to do this. Parents of children who are already attending school or kindergarten have until 31st July 2021 to present the above-mentioned certificate.
Road tax and fuel prices in Germany in 2021
As estimated by the ADAC, from January 2021, driver in Germany will pay an average of 11 cents more for every litter of fuel.
The new Kfz-Steuer road tax rates have also entered into force. The higher the consumption and thus the CO2 emissions of the new, the more the surcharge on the tax rate. This is a move to encourage people to buy fuel-efficient cars. Owners of cars electric cars will therefore save a lot.
Severe financial penalties for lack of smoke detectors in apartments
From 2021, smoke detectors in apartments became mandatory. They should be installed in bedrooms and corridors that can be used as an escape route.
As reported by PAP in Berlin and Brandenburg, in accordance with the local building regulations, the installation obligation also applies to “common rooms” in multi-family buildings. Failure to comply with this obligation may result in severe financial penalties, the amount of which varies depending on the federal state.