Coming back home after holidays is always something exciting; catching up with friends to talk about what happened the last couple of weeks, organizing dinners at home, enjoying a good glass of wine after work, discovering your mailbox full of informative letters… Wait, informative letters? What does it mean? Germany is, as you may already know, a very administrative country, which means that the administration will inform you every time that something change.
Yes, at the beginning of 2018 the German administration had a couple of things to share with me and, of course, I would like to share this information with you. Keep reading to discover the legislative changes in Germany in 2018
- The monthly installment of the “Krankenkasse” (Health Insurance Company) decreases to 1 percent, although the monthly fixed rate of medical insurance remains at 7,3% of the gross salary.
- From the 1st of January onwards, the “Krankenkasse” for freelances will be calculated based on the latest income declaration.
- Employees subject to temporary employment contracts will have the possibility to cancel their health insurance plan the moment their labor activity comes to an end.
- It is expected that real state prices increase during the year 2018 but not at the rate we have seen in the last couple of years.
- Construction of new properties will be more expensive. If you have a savings account dependent on construction, think twice before putting the first brick 😉
- Benefits of the maternity leave, or “Mutterschutz”, will be extended to students, interns and high school pupils.
- Another important administrative change will be the amount of money that people who already have children will receive from the state. This monetary help known as “Kindergeld”, will increase in 2€.
Let´s remember how much money did German parents received per child in 2017:
- 192€ per month for each of the first two children
- 198€ per month for the third child
- 223€ per month for each subsequent one
- Decrease in the percentage of salary retained for pensions from 18,7% to 18,6%.
- Increase subsidies for companies which hire people with any kind of disability. In this way the German government aims to provide companies with more facilities to hire new employees and, at the same time, to generate social consciousness among German entrepreneurs and its employees.
- From the second semester of the year onward, companies with more than 200 employees will have to facilitate information about how much do they pay to men and women in equal position and to publish wage data in anonymous form. Thanks to this new law, German female employees will access to important information which will allow them to know how big is the wage gap in their companies. At this point, it is important to remember that Germany has one of the worst records in Europe when it comes to equal pay (women earn around one fifth less than men).
- The deadline to present the income statement will be extended until the 31st of July (These are great news for those who have to present the income statement in Germany, aren´t they? :)).
To sum up, let me share some important german news with you, which are related to the main topic of this post.
Breaking news: Majestätbeleidigung
The offense for the use of the word “Majestätsbeleidigung” is deleted. Until a couple of days ago, this word was considered an insult towards foreign government bodies and senior officials. Paragraph 103 of the Penal Code penalized with punishments of up to 3 years for those daring to call “Majestätsbeleidigung” (foolish majesty) to any foreign representative.
The discussion on the suppression of this crime arose in 2017, when a German comedian used this word in one of his monologues to refer to Mr. Erdogan, the president of Turkey.
Breaking news: 500€ bill
This year european citizens are going to say goodbye to a bill that many of us we have never seen, but we have heard about its existence: The 500€ bill. Since the beginning of the year the EU have stopped printing it and, at the same time, it has been determined that this bill will be out of circulation at the end of 2018.
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If you have heard about any other legislative change in Germany, which you consider relevant or that I forgot to mention, just leave a comment below or via the social networks and share it with us.
Have a nice week!