Guides to living in Germany. From new laws on employment contracts to the end of public transport discounts, here’s what migrants should look out for in August 2022:
1.Final month of the 9-euro ticket and fuel tax rebate
The past few months have provided some much needed relief with the 9-euro ticket and tax rebate on petrol and diesel- making public transport and driving in Germany cheaper, made this a great summer for exploring the federal republic – but August is the final month we get to benefit from these schemes with both set to expire on September 1.
Cost of fuel is certainly going to rise as the reduction in taxes dissipates, but there is discussions about some kind of follow-up for the 9-euro ticket. The 365-euro ticket, 69-euro ticket and 29-euro ticket all tabled as possible successors. However the federal government and the federal state are disagreeing about who should finance such a scheme.
2.Additional Lufthansa strikes on the horizon
Travelling this summer has been chaotic, with Germany’s flag carrier airline Lufthansa having cancelled more than 6,000 flights as a result of staff shortages and ground workers strike. The chaos at German airports doesn’t look set to end anytime soon, with disruptions expected to last till end of year, and unions considering another strike for August 3 and 4, if salary negotiations don’t go their way.
3.Work contracts to be transparent
In a bid to give employees more transparency on their rights and obligations at work, a new EU directive is being implemented into German law. Employees in future will have to give more information in employment contracts on things like probationary periods, working hours, overtime, shift patterns, salaries and additional remuneration. With the new law primarily affecting new employees, old employees also have the right to ask their employers for this information in writing.
4.Law on measles vaccination coming fully into force
The transition period for Germany’s new compulsory measles vaccination law ends on July 31, after being extended twice. This means all children and staff in day-care centres, schools, medical practices and hospitals will be required to have proof of vaccination against measles. The law has been in effect since March 1, 2020, for new recruits and children just starting school, but the interim period was put in place to give everyone time to comply.
5.Changes in Germany in August 2022: Gas savings efforts kick off
The EU has recently signed off an emergency plan to save gas across the bloc. Member states are being asked to voluntarily reduce national consumption by 15 percent between August 2022 and March 2023. Its achievement has been left up to the individual countries to decide.
6.Deadline on tax returns
Due to the pandemic tax return deadlines in Germany have been extended several times, but the cut-off is approaching in August for the people who had a tax advisor handle their tax return for 2020. The deadline date for 2020 returns is august 31 2020.
7.New Bafög rates
The Bundestag voted to increase Bafög rates for students in Germany by almost 6 percent and to significantly increase allowances and special assets for those entitled to the student support. The maximum support rate will increase from 861 to 934 euros per month.
The new rates will apply from the winter semester for students going to university, while some apprentices and trainees will receive them as soon as the summer holidays end, in some cases in August.
8.Online founding of GmbH and UG possible
A new part of the Digitisation Directive will come into force on August 1 and set the course for certain business forms to be founded online. Currently, persons who want to start a Gmbh or UG need to schedule a meeting with the notary i person. In the future online meetings will suffice, as long as the founder is able to provide some kind of electronic proof of identity.
9. Changes in Germany in August 2022: School holidays beginning in some states, and ending in others
Thanks to Germany’s staggered system of school holidays, August will see the return of some children to their classrooms after the summer break, with other parts of the country school will have just broken up. The summer holidays in Bavaria begins on August 1st, while in Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, among other states, they end just a couple of weeks later.