US companies have stopped hiring international students

German Trade Union Confederation

The current development around the coronavirus and the effects on the labor market pose many questions, especially for trainees, young employees and students.

In the following you will find all important and constantly updated FAQs for students around the topic. There are more FAQs for trainees and young employees.

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1. What effects does the postponed start of the semester have on my BAföG?
BAföG will initially continue to be paid normally. In the case of short-term closings of training centers and extensions of the lecture-free period, further funding is ordered by the BMBF. If there are corresponding online courses, you have to use them in order to keep your entitlement to funding. This also applies if you are in the first semester and also if you receive graduation assistance.

First-year students who applied for BAföG for the first time in the winter semester 2020/21 will receive BAföG at the original start of the semester, even if the university starts lecturing late.

In addition, these regulations apply to your semester abroad. It does not matter whether you are currently abroad and the universities there are closed or whether you wanted to go abroad in the coming semester, but cannot drive now due to entry restrictions. The foreign BAföG is paid anyway.

2. What happens if I exceed the standard period of study?
If you cannot take your exams due to the pandemic-related restrictions and therefore have to study longer, this is considered a serious reason within the meaning of Section 15 (3) No. 1 BAföG, which is recognized as a reason for extension. A pandemic-related interruption of your training when the university is closed or a quarantine order is unavoidable and is therefore a reason for an extension. This also applies if your exams are postponed to periods after the standard period of study.

Equivalent to this, the submission date for performance assessments (form 5) may also be postponed accordingly. Please note that according to the current legal situation, despite the current situation, you still have to submit an application for postponement or funding beyond the maximum funding period and plausibly justify the delay. The extension or postponement of the performance assessment is not automatically accepted! You can read more about this here.

In the meantime, all federal states have decided to increase the standard period of study and thus the maximum BAföG funding period accordingly for the summer semester 2020 and the winter semester 2020/21.

Unfortunately, no federal state has yet made such a regulation for the summer semester 2021.

3. I cannot get my certificate of enrollment for the coming semester or my performance certificate (form 5). How do I deal with the BAföG office now?
If you are currently unable to submit a new immigration certificate due to pandemic university closings or closed administrations, you must explain to the BAföG office that you are still enrolled at your university and that you have not applied for financial benefits at another service center (e.g. at another BAföG office or the job center). Then your BAföG can first be granted further.

If you are in the 5th semester, you usually have to prove your performance level to the BAföG office using Form 5, which must be issued by the university. If this form 5 cannot be issued by the responsible office or only after a delay due to the pandemic-related restrictions or the cessation of university operations, you will continue to receive BAföG - with reservation.

The BAföG offices were instructed not to discontinue funding even if the performance certificate was not presented in exceptional cases. However, you must then submit a declaration that you have actually performed / passed the corresponding examination performance (s) and submit the proof of performance as soon as the university has issued it.
If you have not (yet) done it, you can apply for a postponement if necessary.

4. My parents can no longer support me adequately due to short-time work or dismissal. What can I do?
If you already (partially) receive BAföG, you can submit an update request to the BAföG office. Your BAföG will then be recalculated based on your parents' current income. Note that your BAföG notification is only issued temporarily and will later be compared with the actual income of your parents.

If your parents then earned more than they stated before (e.g. because they found a new job or the short-time work ended faster than expected), the overpaid BAföG will be reclaimed.

If you have not / would not have received BAföG up to now because of the crediting of your parents' income, it may be worthwhile to apply again now. An update application can also be submitted for an initial application, so that your parents' current income is not taken into account, rather than the income from the penultimate calendar year.

You can submit both initial and update applications online.

5. I work in support of healthcare, social institutions, agriculture or other systemically relevant areas and earn money in the process. What does this mean for my BAföG entitlement?
Additional income from activities in the health sector, in social institutions or in agriculture as well as in other systemically relevant areas does not count as income for the duration of the pandemic (§21 Paragraph 4 No. 5 BAföG) and is not taken into account according to the Ministry of Education. However, this only applies to activities or additional hours started on March 1, 2020 (then for the additional part of the income). Anyone who has already worked in system-relevant areas and has not increased the number of hours of the job since the start of the pandemic will not benefit from the regulation.

6. I already have to repay BAföG. What can I do if I can currently no longer meet my payment obligations?
If you are already in the repayment phase of your BAföG loan, but your current income is no longer sufficient to meet the repayment obligation due to job loss, short-time work or a lack of orders, you can apply for an exemption from the Federal Administration Office. This can be placed online at bafoegonline.bva.bund.de.

Even if you are actually currently repaying an educational loan or the graduation loan from the Federal Office of Administration, you can apply for a deferral under the applicable conditions.

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research At this point, provides ongoing information about new developments in the BAföG legal situation in connection with the COVID 19 pandemic and wants to supplement details that have been clarified in the meantime and keep the overview up to date.

Social benefits and emergency loans

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1. Will I still receive child benefit?
As long as you remain enrolled and have not yet exceeded the age limit, your child benefit will continue to be paid. Even when the university is closed, but there is still no corresponding online course offer. The family benefits offices are closed to the public, but benefits such as child benefit and child allowance will continue to be paid out.

In September and October 2020 150 euros per childChild bonus paid out with child benefit. Another child bonus in the amount of 150 euros should be paid out in May 2021. The child bonus is not counted towards social benefits! More information at the employment agency.

2. I'm running out of money now, what can I do?
If you are currently affected or threatened by job and / or job loss (s), be sure to look under the information for job-going students. If none of the regulations presented there (e.g. on continued payment of wages, protection against dismissal or compensation under the Infection Protection Act) or are not sufficient, an application for social benefits such as ALG II or housing allowance may help. In addition, the Ministry of Education has now also promised so-called bridging aid for students for the summer semester 2021. You can apply for the bridging allowance from your responsible student union. There you may also have the opportunity to get a bridging loan.

If there is no other way to finance your studies, a KfW loan can be an option. Please note, however, that this is an interest-bearing loan and there is a risk of over-indebtedness!

The interest on KfW loans up to € 650 / month will be paid by the Ministry of Education between May 8, 2020 and December 31, 2021. After that, however, you have to pay the interest yourself again.

Anyone who already takes out a KfW loan independently of Corona also benefits from the temporary interest exemption, but can still only draw it within the usual framework.

The KfW loan was opened for international students between July 01, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Students who are older than 44 years are still excluded.

It is best to seek advice from the Studierendenwerk before taking out a loan!

3. How does the federal government's "bridging aid" work?
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides a so-called “bridging aid” for students who are in financial need due to the coronavirus. A bridging allowance of up to 500 euros per month is possible - provided you meet the strict criteria.

For example, your account balance is decisive for the amount and you have to prove that you because of are in dire straits of the pandemic. Unfortunately, you also have to submit a new application every month.

More detailed information on the admission requirements and the application modalities is available from the Studierendenwerk and the BMBF.

The bridging aid has been available since July 2020 and is currently possible until the end of the summer semester 2021.

4. Where can I get a bridging loan from?
Most student unions have loan offices. Students in need can receive interest-free bridging loans or help with completing their studies. The amount of the loan depends on individual needs. However, there is no legal entitlement to a loan and a guarantee is required. You apply for a bridging loan at your local student union.

tip: At the DGB legal protection you will find an overview of the different Corona bridging aids for students!

5. Can I apply for financial support from the job center?
As a rule, students are not entitled to benefits from SGB II. However, there are exceptions, e.g. if you live with your parents and are basically eligible for BAföG or if you are ill for more than 12 weeks during the semester. In these cases, completely regular benefits - if necessary in addition - can be granted.

Under certain conditions, other students and members of their community of need can also receive regular subsistence benefits in accordance with SGB II. This is particularly possible in part-time studies or in the semester of leave if the training that is otherwise eligible for BAföG funding is suspended.

The prerequisite is that you are in need of help within the meaning of SGB II, i.e. you do not have sufficient income and / or assets and are generally able to work. You can find more detailed information about entitlement and how to apply on our website.

tip: Simplified access to social benefits was extended to December 31, 2021 with Social Protection Package III. If you want to find out whether and how you can benefit from the relief, get advice. Inquire at your local student council, specialized social counseling centers or the local student union.

Additional benefits already approved for trainees in accordance with Section 27 will continue to be paid out. This also applies to benefits for students' children (social allowance). Anyone who is affected by a loss of income (e.g. due to short-time work or the termination of the part-time job) should inform the responsible job center as soon as possible, in individual cases this may result in higher payouts.

Additional benefits already approved for trainees in accordance with Section 27 will continue to be paid out. This also applies to benefits for students' children (social allowance). Anyone who is affected by a loss of income (e.g. due to short-time work or the termination of the part-time job) should inform the responsible job center as soon as possible, in individual cases this may result in higher payouts.

6. Can I get a hardship loan from the job center?
Section 27 (3) SGB II (benefits for trainees) provides that benefits "for standard needs, [...] needs for accommodation and heating, [...] and necessary contributions to health and long-term care insurance can be provided as loans", if the basic requirement Exclusion of students from performance means a particular hardship.

So far, it cannot be foreseen whether the effects of the current measures on students will be recognized as particular hardship and, if so, under what circumstances (e.g. if there is a risk of dropping out due to the pandemic).

The BMBF has meanwhile announced that students without BAföG eligibility, who lose their own income from part-time jobs due to the current situation, can be entitled to social benefits (unemployment benefit II, housing benefit): "In the current situation, entitlement is also without leave of absence from the so-called hardship regulation in the second book of the Social Security Code (§27 paragraph 3 SGB II). "

Unfortunately, this has not yet been confirmed by the BMAS.We are also not aware of any instructions from the Federal Government or the Employment Agency to the job centers in this regard. Therefore, the following still applies: An application cannot hurt! Please refer to the statements of the BMBF on the hardship regulation.

The job centers
The job centers are still partially closed and in many cases can only be reached by phone, post and online. You can find the necessary forms online. You can submit some applications directly to the Jobcenter.digital. The payment of benefits should be guaranteed regardless of possible public traffic.

7. What can I do if I can no longer pay my rent?
If your income is not completely lost, but is lower, housing benefit can be a solution in the current situation.

In principle, however, you are only entitled to housing benefit if you are no longer entitled to BAföG or if you only receive BAföG as a full loan. In addition, a certain minimum income must be proven, but this can also be proven by loans, savings and / or a plausible explanation of how you can make ends meet from a little less.

If you currently still have a formal entitlement to BAföG, but this is too low or even zero (e.g. because your parents earn too much), you can slip into the basic entitlement to housing benefit or unemployment benefit II over a semester of leave.

If there is a threat of housing loss, it is possible to get the rent debts from the job center as a loan even without a semester of vacation, thus preventing the loss of housing. It may even be possible to avert dismissals that have already been announced. It is advisable to contact a professional debtor or tenant counseling service as soon as possible.

1. Due to the crisis, there is no work to do and my boss told me that I won't get paid until there is work again. Is that legal?
It's not legal, to suspend all paying immediately. As long as you offer your service, they have to pay you at least the contracted hours. It's the company who has to bear the economic risks of crises, not the employees. You should indicate to your employer that § 615 BGB applies, which says, that they have to pay their employees since they bear the risk. But be aware - they may cancel your contract under certain conditions! Nevertheless they have to pay you at least until the end of the statutory notice period (at least 4 weeks).

2. My boss has suddenly quitted my contract, what can I do?
Check if your dismissal was according to the law. It always has to be in written form, verbal termination is not valid. The statutory notice periods are at least 4 weeks to the middle or end of a month. Only in the trial period, shorter notice periods are possible (regularly 2 weeks). You can protect yourself against an irregular or unjustified dismissal, including in the case of a verbal dismissal or a termination without notice. You can file a claim to the labor court. However, you only have 3 weeks to do so from the day you receive the notice of dismissal!

3. I'm self-employed, but due to Corona no jobs / orders anymore, where can I get money now?
If you are self-employed, you unfortunately don't have the right to get paid, as long this is not indicated in your contract. Nevertheless there are federal programs by the state, which intend to help self-employed, who have got difficulties due to Corona crisis. As an EU citizen you may be entitled for social / unemployment money (continue reading under 4.).

Attention!
Please keep in mind that only citizens of certain states may work self-employed without an extra permit by the "Ausländerbehörde". More information on this you can find in our leaflet for international students. In case of doubt, please consult a local counseling office, e.g. the Studierendenwerk, your students union or a refugee law clinic, which deals with legal status of internationals, before you apply for any support by the state.

4. I'm running out of money, which government benefits could apply for me?
If you are an EU citizen and have worked the last months (or years) in Germany, you have the same right for social / unemployment money (ALG II) like German students. As a student you are in general (according to your income) entitled to ALG II, if you take a holiday semester or do part-time studies.

If you are in Germany with a students visa (§ 16b AufenthG), you can't apply for most government benefits without risking your residential status. Due to the Corona crisis the Government has decreed that Kurzarbeitsgeld is a social benefit, that has no impact on the residential status, but until now no further reliefs. Only Berlin as a city-state decreed, that the receipt of benefits in the period from March 18th, 2020, to September 30th, 2020, will have no influence on the residence permit.

If you are not entitled for government benefits, you can apply at your local Studierendenwerk for an interest free loan.

If you've got an address within Germany registered with the authorities, it is possible to receive a students' loan up to € 650 per month by the "KfW" if you meet the criteria. EU citizens residing in Germany on a permanent basis for at least three years, can receive the students' loan beyond March 2021. However the loan interest will be only suspended until 12/2021, afterwards you have to pay interest additionally to your full payback duties .

Since June 2020 you can also apply online for the so called "Bridging Aid". Up to 500 euros per month are possible for the time between June 2020 and September 2021, but you have to apply for each month extra. You can find more information on the website of the Studierendenwerk.

5. I couldn't find an answer to my question, where can I get help?
The unionized project "Fair Mobility" offers a lot more information concerning German labor law and special information about labor law and the Corona crisis in English and also other languages ​​(mainly Eastern European). At the ver.di website you can get information in Turkish.

The Deutsches Studentenwerk provides a special FAQ for international students in German, English, and French and the DAAD offers information around Corona, universities and Erasmus in German and English.

Of course you can always ask us too - via our online forum.

Under labor law, working students and mini-jobbers have exactly the same rights as all other employees in the company. Here you can use the information from the DGB or the FAQs from the DGB legal protection. These are updated regularly.

In detail, however, there are peculiarities and more specific regulations due to the frequent precariousness of employment (fixed-term, insignificant) as well as the special social security status of job-employed students.

Danger!
Do not rush to sign a termination agreement, an amendment agreement and the like or agree to short-time work! Always seek advice from your JAV, your works / staff council or your union first!

Social insurance (student status, short-term employment)

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1. Can I work more than 8 p.m. / week when my university is closed without losing the status of "working student"?

During the semester break, you can generally work more than 20 hours a week without this having an impact on your student status in social insurance. During the lecture period, you can only work more than 8 p.m. / week in certain cases. In the case of online teaching, the more flexible time schedule means that it may be possible to exceed it beyond the evening and night hours or on weekends. This is stated in the GKV circular from April 9th, 2020. The best thing to do is to ask your health insurance company how it assesses your situation.

The period when there are no official lectures at your university / in your federal state is considered to be a lecture-free period in terms of social insurance, i.e. this also includes closing times of the university, if applicable.

You can read here which rules apply in principle.

2. I am currently on leave in my job, what are the effects if I temporarily work elsewhere?
If you are currently on unpaid leave from one (or more) job (s), the employment relationship with the social insurance does not count for the duration of the unpaid leave. This means that the working hours agreed there for the duration of the unpaid leave do not count towards the 20-hour rule.

The same applies to mini jobs. If you are already combining a student job with a € 450 mini-job and now want to take on another mini-job, only the one that was started first can normally be billed as a mini-job (the second is paid in like the student job). However, if you are currently unpaid due to the crisis in your previous mini job, you can be billed in the newly accepted mini-jobber.

3. Due to the Corona crisis, I am currently not getting any shifts in my job, I can just take another job as long as I am?
If you are currently just not being assigned and receiving no money, that is not lawful. You may be entitled to continued payment due to default in acceptance (see below under No. 5). So this is not the same as an unpaid leave of absence, as you are basically still entitled to payment. That is why the agreed working time continues to be included in the 20-hour rule.

You can assert the remuneration claim in court if your employers refuse to pay you. If you do not want that, e.g. because you are concerned about being dismissed, it can make individual sense to agree with your employer on a temporary unpaid leave of absence. If in doubt, seek advice from your union!

If your weekly working hours are currently zero due to ordered / approved short-time work and you are not entitled to short-time work allowance, the employment relationship is also still considered to have been maintained, but is not taken into account in social insurance, as with unpaid leave. If you work to a reduced extent due to short-time work, your actual paid working hours are relevant.

4. Will the regulations for my short-term employment change in the corona crisis?
In the course of the crisis laws, the time frame for short-term employment was temporarily extended. From March 1 to October 31, 2020, jobs that were limited to a maximum of 5 months or 115 days a year were considered short-term. Since November 1, 2020, the regular time frame of 3 months or 70 days a year has been in effect again.
Attention: The extension does not apply to current short-term employment beyond October 31! This means: If you started a temporary job up to December 31st (= 5 months) on August 1st, this is short-term from August up to and including October, but no longer from November 1st. The job then becomes subject to social security contributions, and the working student status may apply.

Since the income from short-term employment is not included in the statutory family insurance, you can have high income in this without having to take out health insurance yourself. Note: In principle, it is not possible to register as a short-term employee during the vacation semester.

1. I can no longer work or only work less because the company is closed. Does my employer have to keep paying me?
Yes! Just as employers cannot simply stop paying other operating costs such as rent, insurance and the like, neither can they simply stop paying their employees.

In general, the employer, not the employee, bears the operational risk! That means: as long as employees offer their labor in principle, they have a right to employment and payment.

If the employer does not accept the worker, he is in default of acceptance and is still obliged to pay wages in accordance with Section 615 of the German Civil Code (BGB). Even an order for vacation or the instruction to reduce overtime is not easy (more on this at DGB legal protection). Employees are then entitled to continued remuneration regardless of whether they are currently working.

Employees are not concerned about whether and to what extent the company can in turn obtain compensation under the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) from the state. In principle, the following applies: the salary will continue to be paid out by the company. Only if they refuse, you can try to get compensation directly according to the IfSG yourself.

Depending on the federal state, either the health department or another state authority is responsible for such applications. In Berlin, for example, the Senate Department is responsible for finances, in North Rhine-Westphalia it is the regional associations of Rhineland and Westphalia-Lippe or in Bavaria the respective governments of the districts.

2. What applies if I am otherwise paid by the hour or if my working hours fluctuate?
With fluctuating working hours and flexible working days, there is likely to be work on call. But even then, weekly and daily working hours must be agreed - which must be paid accordingly. If no weekly working time has been agreed, a weekly working time of 20 hours is deemed to be agreed according to the law for work on call (standard rule).

If the actual regular working time or the verbally agreed working time can be determined, this naturally applies to the calculation of your entitlement to continued remuneration. The weekly agreed working hours may only be deviated from within a certain framework - a maximum of 20% less and a maximum of 25% more. That means: even if there is a permissible agreement on a working time account and possibly minus hours, you have to be paid at least for the agreed weekly working time minus 20%.

If your working hours were very irregular, your entitlement to continued remuneration is calculated according to Section 615 BGB based on your average working hours. The law itself does not provide a more precise definition.

For the continued payment of wages in the event of illness, the average value of the last three months applies in the case of fluctuating working hours and, when calculating the holiday pay, the last 13 weeks before the start of the holiday, so that it can be assumed that the calculation is similar in the case of continued payment according to §615 BGB.

If fixed weekly working hours are regularly worked on fixed days, this is not work on demand and the agreed weekly working hours apply to continued wages.

3. I have to look after my child at home. Am I entitled to continued payment of wages or other support?

For employees who work in "systemically relevant" professions (e.g. in health, care, grocery stores, public transport ...), numerous federal states and municipalities offer the option of making use of emergency care.
Otherwise, students who are on a job are also regular employees under labor law. Accordingly, the regulations on the right to compensation in the event of loss of earnings in the event of official closure of schools and daycare centers according to the Infection Protection Act also apply.

In addition, the regulations on child sickness benefit have been expanded for 2021. Students who are on the job can take advantage of this if they have statutory health insurance. Detailed information on this at the DGB.

4. I had contact with a person infected with Corona and have to be quarantined. Will I still get my wages?
If you are officially quarantined and have not acted culpably (e.g. vacation in a risk area), it is quite possible that you are entitled to continued payment of wages according to Section 616 of the German Civil Code (BGB) or that the Infection Protection Act applies. In both cases, you must continue to receive money from your employer. If necessary, he or she can get the money back from the responsible authority.
If you fall ill with Covid (or any other illness) yourself during the quarantine and become unable to work as a result, you are entitled to continued payment of wages in the event of illness according to the "normal" rules.

For the calculation of your entitlement to continued payment of wages according to §616 BGB the "relevant regular working hours" (§ 56 Abs. 3 IfSG) are used as a basis. In the case of fluctuating working hours, note the regulations on work on demand.

If in doubt, however, you must always look at the specific individual case. As a union member, you are entitled to free legal advice and, if necessary,Legal protection through your member union. Your contract as well as the exact circumstances and existing evidence can then be checked there.

Further information can be found at the DGB under No. 11.

5. I should work off minus hours due to the pandemic-related loss of work. Is that legally permissible?
Some employers claim that lost hours due to Corona would have accumulated and demand that these are now worked off in addition to regular working hours.

But do you have to make up for missed working hours due to the crisis, e.g. due to a lack of orders or plant closure? The extent to which minus hours can be accumulated in the job and whether this is even possible depends on whether there is an employment or collective bargaining agreement. A works agreement can also contain provisions on this.
You can get more detailed information from the works / staff council or your union. There you can also check whether contractual agreements are legally permissible.

If you do have to "work off" a large number of minus hours, the statutory maximum working time limits and break regulations still apply, of course.

If there are no agreements, the following generally applies: You work as contractually agreed. If there is less to do, you still have to be paid for the agreed time, as long as you generally offer your labor. Then the regulations for continued payment of wages apply according to §615 BGB (see under 2.).

1. I'm supposed to "work normally", but I'm unsure about Corona. Which occupational safety standards apply in the company?
Unfortunately, you can't just decide for yourself what you feel safest with. So you can z. B. not just work from home without prior consultation. But that does not mean that you have to work under all circumstances: Because employers have a duty of care towards their employees (Section 618 BGB). It's their job to keep you safe in the workplace.

To this end, the Federal Ministry of Labor has listed clear measures in the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, for example:

  • Ventilation measures
  • Guarantee of partitions or a safety distance of 1.5 meters
  • Provision of medical masks and compulsory wearing of these
  • Plan shifts so that as few as possible meet
  • Test option at least twice a week for everyone who cannot work exclusively at home

In addition to these general requirements, the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) continuously collects updated recommendations and guidelines for the individual sectors, for example for the catering or retail trade.

If you belong to one or more risk groups, you can also inform your employer about the occupational medicine recommendation of the BMAS on how to deal with employees who are particularly vulnerable due to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.

You can find more information at the DGB legal protection and in the FAQs of the DGB.

2. There are no or very few protective measures in my company. What can I do?
If you have the impression that your employer does not adequately protect you and your colleagues, you should draw attention to this and demand that appropriate measures be observed. Corresponding material, which regulations apply and which protective measures should be guaranteed, can be found in the previous answer.

It is best to get support from the works or staff council. If it is not possible to implement the necessary measures, you also have the option of reporting or suing your employer at the responsible health or trade supervisory authority. You may even have the right not to work until appropriate action is taken. Be sure to seek legal advice in advance, preferably from your union.

3. I am suspected of having Corona. What should I do?
For all questions about your health and what to do in the event of illness or a suspected virus, we would like to refer you to the instructions of the local health authorities, the information provided by the DGB for employees and the leaflet Suspected / Illness cases in DGUV operations.

The general rule: You can't just stay away from work! Even in the corona crisis, you need a medical or official certificate (health certificate). Until June 30th, 2021 you can get sick leave by phone if you have cold symptoms. More about it here.
If you are unable to work due to illness, you are also entitled to continued remuneration for up to 6 weeks, as is the case for all other employees. You can read here at the DGB Legal Protection how you generally proceed in a legally correct manner when reporting sickness.

tip: The Federal Ministry of Labor answers many questions about the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance in its regularly updated FAQs. Look in here!

Which regulations for working from home apply to me as a working student or mini-jobber?

The same rules apply to you as to all employees; you must not be treated differently just because you are registered as a working student or mini-jobber. The new Infection Protection Act of April 22nd, 2021 regulates that office work or comparable activities must be done at home if there are no operational reasons to the contrary. As an employee, you have to follow this as long as there are no reasons to the contrary (e.g. if you do not have an adequate job).

If you do not work exclusively at home, the employer must offer you at least two corona tests per week.

The DGB legal protection has created detailed information on the topic of home office, which applies to all employees, including student job-ends.

1. Can I just be terminated?
Terminations of normal employment contracts are possible in principle, but this applies in any case

  • only in writing (verbally or electronically, e.g. by email, is not valid)
  • outside of the probationary period, notice periods of at least 4 weeks at the end of the month or in the middle of the month apply (longer periods may apply in the case of longer employment or other agreements in the employment or collective agreement)
  • In the trial period of up to 6 months (which must be contractually agreed!), A notice period of 2 weeks applies
  • For employment over 6 months and a company size of 10 full-time employees or more, the Dismissal Protection Act also applies. Unfortunately, this does not exclude redundancies for operational reasons due to urgent operational requirements, but it must at least be justified accordingly and a social selection must be made, i.e. a weighing up of the vulnerability of different employees. You can request to know these reasons. You can read about whether and under what conditions the corona pandemic currently provides plausible reasons for termination at the DGB legal protection. In the case of redundancies for operational reasons, there may also be an entitlement to severance pay based on the length of the employment relationship.
  • Fixed-term employment contracts can only be terminated if this is regulated in the employment contract (Section 15 TzBfG). The same applies here: a minimum of 4 weeks.

A change notice is offered before, during or after the notice of termination in order to sign a new employment contract with changed conditions. Employers could terminate the contract and offer a new contract with fewer hours. The employee can accept the new employment contract with the proviso that the change of termination does not contradict the Dismissal Protection Act - and sue later.

2. I have been terminated, what should I do?
The most important thing is to react quickly and have the dismissal checked by the union or (for non-members) by a lawyer. If you want to take action against the dismissal, you have to file a lawsuit with the labor court within 3 weeks.

1. Short-time work was ordered in my company. What does that mean for me?
Short-time work means that working hours (and, accordingly, wages) are reduced or even completely suspended. The idea of ​​short-time work is to maintain employment relationships despite crises. Anyone who falls under short-time work will usually continue to work.

2. Are (working) students and mini-jobbers entitled to short-time work benefits?
Students who are registered with the status of "working student" and also mini-jobbers are currently not entitled to short-time work allowance. The background to this is that, due to their social security status, they do not pay any contributions to unemployment insurance. This usually applies to all employed students who regularly do not work more than 20 hours a week

Those students who are fully registered as subject to social insurance are considered to be regular employees in the social security system and are accordingly entitled to short-time allowance according to the same rules as all other employees. As a rule, this applies to employed students who regularly work more than 20 hours a week, study part-time or are currently on leave from their studies, unless they are only marginally employed or self-employed.

3. Can my employer unilaterally order short-time work?
No. Short-time work requires the approval of the staff representatives (works or staff council). In companies without a works council, short-time work generally requires the consent of the individual employees. In part, the consent is already agreed in the employment contract. In this case, the employer can order short-time work.

If this agreement on short-time work does not exist in the employment contract, the employer must enclose a declaration of consent for all employees affected by short-time work with the notification of short-time work. If there is a works council, speak to it so that it does not consent to short-time work for you against your will!

If you want to put your commitment to the company on a more secure footing in the long term and can temporarily waive the entire salary / part of the salary (if 100% short-time work has not been announced), it can make sense for you to consent to short-time work.

We advise everyone else, as a rule, not to agree to short-time working individually if they cannot provide for themselves otherwise. There is then a threat of cancellation of the change, but at least you are financially secure for at least 4 weeks and gain time to look for alternatives.

4. What happens if I do not agree to short-time work?
If your works council approves short-time working for all employees, then unfortunately this also applies to those employees who are registered as working students or mini-jobbers in the social insurance system. Working students and mini-jobbers should therefore ask their works council to approve short-time working only for all employees who are fully subject to social insurance, but not for working students and mini-jobbers.

Otherwise, the consequence for those who do not agree is that there is initially a right to continue to be employed and, accordingly, to continue to be paid. As long as employees offer their labor in principle, they have a right to employment and payment. If the employer does not accept the workforce, he is in default of acceptance and is still obliged to pay wages (§ 615 BGB).

However, it is then still possible for an employer to give notice of termination or a termination notice (e.g. a change in the agreed working hours). Of course, this does not happen overnight (see termination).

I am self-employed and my events, seminars and work assignments have been canceled. Am I entitled to a cancellation fee?
Basically, you should first check the fee regulations in the order. In general, it is advisable to agree appropriate regulations for failures where possible.

Anyone who is subject to an officially ordered quarantine may have claims for compensation based on the average profit of the previous year from the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) §§ 28ff, § 56. You can obtain information on this regionally from the health authorities. A period of 3 months applies for a claim.

It is also possible for the client to continue to pay the agreed fees until further notice and, purely as a precaution, to grant a repayment claim if compensation payments are made elsewhere.

In addition, the federal and state governments have decided to provide assistance in the form of grants and loans for self-employed individuals, for example special aid loans from KfW or grants to which most self-employed students, however, do not have access.

If you are in acute financial trouble now, read on in our FAQs on social benefits and emergency loans.

tip: You can find detailed information in the continuously updated information pool for the self-employed in ver.di.

The start of lectures for the 2020/21 winter semester has been postponed to November 2nd, 2020 at most universities.

1. Actually, I should do a compulsory internship. Is that still possible now?
There are no general rules here. Compulsory internships accompanying studies that do not take place at the university can be completed depending on the industry and company subject to the currently applicable legal restrictions. It is best to find out more about this directly from your university and your internship provider.

2. I have planned a semester / internship abroad. What is true here?
BAföG funding will remain in place for the time being, even if entry bans prevent you from starting your semester abroad.

In some countries, however, teaching has been discontinued. In addition, a number of states have imposed pandemic-related entry restrictions. Inquire at the Federal Foreign Office what currently applies to your target country.

3. DAAD scholarships and Erasmus
For scholarship holders from Germany who are abroad, return journeys are possible and also reimbursable.

The DAAD continues to accept applications for ongoing advertisements for the winter semester. A decision is made on the basis of the documents or in video conferences.

Programs for international scholarship holders who plan to start their stay in the current summer semester (university summer courses, RISE research internships, IAESTE, etc.) will be suspended for this period.

For Erasmus students, in the event of changes to travel plans (return, cancellation) for countries with corona cases, the costs can be reimbursed up to the amount of the previously agreed total scholarship. Since most universities in the Erasmus area are closed, Erasmus funding recipients should contact their home university.

4. Do I get a refund of tuition fees if my university is closed?
Whether tuition fees can be reclaimed must be checked on a case-by-case basis. Civil law regulations apply to private universities, while administrative law generally applies to public universities. In civil law, in particular, it depends on the specific contractual agreement.

It is unclear whether it is worth campaigning for a reimbursement of tuition fees. It may well be that the university has to repay you part - especially if it cannot provide alternative offers such as online courses or webinars. However, it is questionable whether this will actually be of any use to you if you end up having to pay longer because the study period is extended.

5. Can my university offer face-to-face teaching?
With the new Infection Protection Act, nationwide regulations for universities have now been made for the first time. A university can offer classroom teaching up to an incidence value of 165. From an incidence value of 100 and above, only alternate classes are possible from the day after next. Exceptions are possible. In addition, the federal states can still adopt different regulations.

6. Which regulations currently apply to dual study programs?
It depends largely on which type of dual study you are pursuing. Dual students in courses integrated into training can find out more about questions about the operational part of their training in the FAQs for trainees.

For Practice-integrated courses there are no generally applicable regulations.Sometimes the contract between the company and dual students is a more or less normal employment contract, but sometimes the practical phases are more comparable to compulsory internships, so that otherwise common labor law regulations do not apply. The specific contracts between students, employers and the university provide information here.

What is happening, if the courses at the university are canceledIn the dual study program, it depends on the contractual situation or the study regulations. It may well be permissible if you, as a dual student, have to work in the company despite the university closings.

At https://jugend.dgb.de/studium/beratung you can contact our online advisors at any time if you have any problems or questions. Fast, unbureaucratic, anonymous and free of charge.

Advice for students is a service provided by your union!