As students, if you take on part-time jobs (mini-jobs and / or short-term employment) at a company, the employer should register you at the mini-job centre. Then, you the same rights as all employees; this includes vacation and continued sick pay. And, the minimum wage of € 8.84 per hour is binding. No special regulations for the mini-job apply. Accordingly, it is either a:
- 450-euro mini-job, if your regular monthly salary does not exceed the € 450 limit, or
- Short-term mini-job, if your employment is limited to three months or 70 working days from the outset
Characteristic of a mini-job is that students can earn a maximum monthly salary of € 450 euros per month. You do not have to pay taxes and you can choose not to pay contributions towards the state pension. However, your employer pays pension contributions for part-time jobbers. So, your claim to a state pension scheme is secured. You can supplement the employer’s contribution with your own voluntary contributions.
As a rule, in Germany, law obligates the employers to pay the following taxes:
- income tax
- church tax, and
- solidarity surcharge
For the mini-jobs, you can agree upon a monthly salary and the hours you work with your employer. Then the number of hours you can work is limited due to the minimum wage law. Alternatively, you can agree on a fixed hourly wage. Mini-jobs are also available in private households. For students, there are hardly any differences from the mini-jobs in industry. Employers advertise mini-jobs in the mini-job centre. If you do several mini-jobs at the same time, then your total income must remain below € 450 Euro. Otherwise, you have to pay taxes and social insurance contributions on your total income.
A short-term employment is when you are not employed for more than 3 months or 70 calendar days at a time. If you work only during semester breaks, there is no limit to wages or weekly working hours. You are not subject to social insurance. However, your income is subject to tax liability. There are two options for taxation:
- Individual taxation based on the income tax bracket, or
- A lump-sum payroll tax of 25% (does not include church tax or solidarity surcharge).
Filing your income tax return may be worthwhile.
During term holidays the obligation to pay contributions towards the state pension may not be applicable: this applies if the employment is limited to a maximum of 2 months or 50 working days per year.