Why shouldn't students work part-time?

Holidays and part-time jobs: what students need to pay attention to

Many students would like to supplement their pocket money with small jobs - for example during the summer holidays. What is allowed? What applies to taxes and social security? What do pupils whose parents receive Hartz IV? And last but not least: What information do employers who hire a student need?

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Age limits: what is allowed for whom?

The following age limits apply to children and young people who want to work:

Under 13 years: A general work ban applies here. Exceptions exist according to Paragraph 6 of the Youth Labor Protection Act for theater and music events, film recordings, television and radio productions as well as the associated rehearsals. However, employers must obtain approval for this.

From 13 years: Children who are not yet 15 years old are allowed to take on light temporary work with the consent of their parents. Up to two working hours per day are permitted, in family farms up to three hours on a maximum of five days of the week. During school, the activity may not be carried out before the start of school and only until 6 p.m., and longer during the holidays. But even then the two-hour limit applies. The five-day week and the Saturday, Sunday and holiday rest apply; the weekly working time must therefore not exceed ten or 15 hours.

The activities must not endanger the safety, development or health of the children. Which jobs are allowed is listed in detail in the Child Labor Protection Ordinance. The list ranges from "delivering newspapers or advertising brochures" to "looking after pets" to "harvesting and cultivating fields". The jobs could be organized as mini-jobs.

From 15 years: In addition to the times mentioned above, students may work a total of four weeks longer per calendar year during the school holidays. A maximum of eight working hours per day between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on a maximum of five days of the week are permitted for vacation jobs. The work can also be spread over several vacations - for example over two weeks in the Easter and two weeks in the summer vacation. However, a total of no more than four weeks may come together within a calendar year. Young people are not allowed to be employed on Saturdays and Sundays. Job-specific exceptions apply, for example, in old people's homes, nursing homes and children's homes, in agriculture and in the catering trade.

From 16 years: Young people are allowed to work in the catering and showman trade until 10 p.m., in multi-shift businesses until 11 p.m. and in bakeries / pastry shops from 5 a.m. and in agriculture between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, the four-week limit that applies to holidays remains.

The following applies to all young people: Dangerous work is prohibited. In general, the youth employment protection regulations must be observed. Work that is too strenuous (for example piece work), too dangerous, unsuitable or hazardous to health is prohibited. The same applies to activities that are associated with particular accident risks, that require the handling of dangerous working materials or that could endanger the health and development of young people in any other way.

From 18 years: The Youth Labor Protection Act no longer applies to adult students. Normal labor law applies to them. You are allowed to work more than four weeks a year and also outside of the school holidays. The same goes for students, of course.

Also read: Child benefit for adults - after graduating from high school, a new application is often necessary

Social security and tax for vacation and part-time jobs

There are two possible job variants for a student vacation job lasting a maximum of four weeks: Either a mini-job with a maximum earnings of 450 euros or a job with a gross wage higher than 450 euros.

For a part-time job during school time (i.e. outside of the holidays), due to the limited number of hours allowed, usually only a mini-job with earnings of up to 450 euros per month should be considered.

Vacation job or part-time job on a 450 euro basis

Mini-jobs are also popular with schoolchildren because the earnings can be collected "gross for net". So there are no deductions for social security and taxes - if structured accordingly. But it is not that simple. Especially when it comes to pension insurance, it can also be extremely useful for schoolchildren to accept a small deduction from the gross wage.

Pension insurance

When it comes to pension insurance, mini-jobbers - including schoolchildren - have a free choice: In the standard case, the job is subject to pension insurance. The compulsory pension insurance always occurs if the jobber does not explicitly decide against it. On the other hand, if you decide against compulsory insurance, you save yourself small monthly contributions to the statutory pension fund.

If the jobber leaves it with the pension insurance obligation, the following invoice is issued: In any case, the employer pays a flat rate contribution to the pension fund. For a commercial mini job, this is 15 percent. For example, if the jobber earns 200 euros a month, the employer pays a flat pension contribution of 30 euros per month. For a full € 450 job it is € 67.50. If the jobber leaves it with the statutory standard solution, he increases this employer's flat rate by 3.6 percent. For a € 200 job, this is € 7.20 per month, and € 16.20 for a full € 450 job. The employer keeps the respective amounts from the gross wage.

These deductions can easily be avoided by opting out of pension insurance. Some employers will advise students to do so too. But biallo.de advises students: Leave it to the compulsory pension insurance.

Because that has two main advantages. On the one hand, months with a mini job then count as months that are fully subject to pension insurance. Schoolchildren will only notice why this makes sense much later - namely when it comes to retirement. Because months with a mini-job that are subject to pension insurance can later ensure that you can retire earlier. They can also secure a right to a disability pension.

On the other hand, an important state subsidy is linked to employment that is subject to pension insurance: the so-called Riester subsidy for private savings contracts for a later pension. Anyone who is only required to have pension insurance for one month in a year is entitled to the full state allowances.

As a state allowance, young Riester savers can receive a total of 375 euros in the first year. This amount is made up of the normal government allowance of 175 euros and the entry-level allowance of 200 euros, which Riester savers under 25 years of age are entitled to in the first year of contributions according to Section 84 sentence 2 of the Income Tax Act. The prerequisite for funding is that those concerned pay the minimum personal contribution in accordance with Section 86 of the Income Tax Act, which for schoolchildren is usually 60 euros per calendar year or five euros per month. In other words: For a personal contribution of 60 euros, there is a state subsidy of more than six times the amount in the first year of savings.

The following is also important for the mothers and fathers of the pupils: Riester contracts for your children do not harm the parents. Even if a child has signed a corresponding contract and receives the state basic allowance themselves, the parents can continue to receive the child allowance of 185 euros (for children born after 2008: 300 euros) on their own Riester contract. This does not cease until the parents are no longer entitled to child benefit.

As a Riester contract, share fund savings plans are probably the first choice for schoolchildren. Until young Riester savers reach retirement age, there will still be one or the other stock market high - those who bet on share packages calculate. Therefore, the Riester investment in certified fund savings contracts could be worthwhile, especially for younger people.

Also read:Benefit from Riester as a mini jobber

Tax structuring options

Schoolchildren who take up a vacation or part-time job on a € 450 basis pay no tax on their earnings: the employer usually pays the flat-rate tax of two percent. The employment is then tax-free for the jobbers. Theoretically, the employer can pass these two percent - for a full 450 euro job that is nine euros - on to the jobbers. However, this is unusual.

However, the paradox is: Sometimes it can be cheaper for jobbers to waive the tax exemption. This is made possible by the regulation of Paragraph 40a Paragraph 2 of the Income Tax Act. There it says: "The employer can" levy wage tax for mini-jobbers "with a uniform flat tax rate totaling two percent of wages".

He "can" do it, but does not have to. The alternative to this is that - as with all other employees - wage tax is levied. The employer saves up to (9 x 12 =) 108 euros in flat-rate tax per year. Then the job is taxed according to the normal rules for income tax. For schoolchildren, who usually have a mini-job as their only occupation, this does not matter at all, because they do not have to pay any wage tax anyway with such low wages. It is therefore easy for you to forego the tax exemption.

But why can that be useful? Anyone who is taxed "normally" can claim the income-related allowance, which is currently 1,000 euros per year. This can play a role for the free family insurance of the statutory health insurance companies. This is also possible for mini-jobbers, but only if their "total taxable income" is not higher than 450 euros per month. This amount may be exceeded in a maximum of three months. This "total income" means the gross income after deducting income-related expenses.

The employee lump sum of 1,000 euros per year alone reduces the monthly wage by (1,000 / 12 =) 83.33 euros according to the calculation rules of the health insurance companies. The creditable income from a full mini-job is therefore only (450 - 83.33 =) 366.67 euros. This leaves room for additional income - such as interest. This can be of interest, for example, for the not few students who have capital income - for example because their parents have invested money in the name of the student. Capital income can make free health insurance for students impossible.

By waiving the lump-sum taxation for mini-jobs, however, students may be able to save their entitlement to statutory health insurance at zero cost.

Also read:Current accounts for students - details that can be very expensive

Earning over 450 euros

A job with earnings of more than 450 euros is taxable and usually also subject to social security. In most cases, however, there are no social security contributions for schoolchildren, as the regulation on so-called short-term employment applies here.

Tax rules

The fact that the job is taxable does not mean that wage tax is due. For a short-term student who is usually in tax class I, this is only the case with gross monthly earnings of 970 euros or more. For employees subject to social security contributions in tax class I, this limit is 1,030 euros gross. In addition to wage tax, the solidarity surcharge and - for church members - church tax may apply.

Also read:How to lower your church tax

Example: As a warehouse worker, a student earns 1,500 euros gross within four weeks. The employer pays a wage tax of 96.75 euros and a solidarity contribution of 3.15 euros to the tax office. Since the student is not subject to social security contributions in short-term employment, there are no social security contributions.

The affected person receives a net payment of 1,400.10 euros.
Gross wage 1,500.00 euros
Income tax - 100.58 euros
Solidarity contribution - 3.91 euros
Net wage 1,400.10 euros

Source: based on our own research; biallo.de

Important: As a rule, students receive the income tax paid back in the following year with their income tax return. That means: In the following year - if you hurry up with the explanation, which is very easy for schoolchildren - you will already receive a small blessing in April.

Also read:Step by step through the tax forms

Social security rules

Schoolchildren and students' vacation jobs are usually exempt from social security because they are considered short-term employment. How high the earnings and the weekly working hours are irrelevant. The prerequisite is that the employment does not last longer than three months or 70 working days in the current year.

Beware of jobs between graduation and training

However, anyone who has already completed school and has an apprenticeship contract in their pocket and works in the period up to the start of the apprenticeship (in-company vocational training) must pay contributions to health, long-term care, pension and unemployment insurance. Because in this case, the temporary job is considered an early start to professional life. Those affected are then already considered employees.

Between high school and university

Prospective students who work until the start of their studies do not need to pay any contributions to health, nursing care, pension or unemployment insurance, regardless of their earnings, provided that the employment does not last longer than three months or 70 working days per calendar year. With the exception of pension insurance, long-term employment remains exempt from social insurance if prospective students do not earn more than 450 euros per month.

Also read:Student jobs - when taxes and duties are due

Hartz IV and summer jobs

Additional earnings of EUR 1,200 are allowed during the school holidays

Many children from Hartz IV families are allowed to earn up to 1,200 euros during the holidays - and keep the money. This regulation applies to all students under the age of 25 who do not receive a training fee.

Danger: However, if you want to use the EUR 1,200 allowance, you should pay attention to the small print. In addition to the € 1,200 rule, there is another: only the earnings from four weeks of vacation per year are not counted towards unemployment benefit (ALG) II or social benefits for schoolchildren. This means, for example: If a student works for two weeks during the Easter break and another four weeks during the summer break, but only earns 1,000 euros in total, he is unlucky. In total, he then worked in six instead of the permitted four weeks of vacation.

The job centers then determine how much he would have earned on average in four weeks. In the example case, only 4/6 of the total vacation earnings would then be taken into account as an exemption. That would be around 667 euros. In the example, these would then be free of credit. The remaining 333 euros would be offset against ALG II or social allowance according to the usual rules. The student is only allowed to keep a part of this.

100 euros per month are free of charge

In addition to the maximum of 1,200 euros in the holiday job, income of 100 euros per month is also free of credit for students from families who receive Hartz IV, as well as for adults. Schoolchildren who earn 100 euros a month by distributing brochures, for example, are allowed to keep this amount - as long as they have no further income from gainful employment.

They can continue to earn 100 euros per month during the school holidays (but not during the time they do the "bigger" vacation job) without the job being considered a vacation job and thus using up the 1,200 euros tax exemption.

In practice this means: A student from a Hartz IV family is allowed to earn an additional € 100 free of credit for eleven months and an additional € 1,200 in a four-week job during the summer vacation. This is regulated in Paragraph 1 Paragraph 4 of the ALG II Ordinance. Schoolchildren who organize their part-time and vacation jobs in this way are allowed to keep a total of 2,300 euros.

Students can use the money as they see fit. So you can travel with it or buy a notebook. However, they are not entirely free in their use of money. Because if you put the money on the high edge, there can be trouble with the property allowances at Hartz IV.

Example: Let's say a student has a savings account. There are 3,500 euros on it. That's OK. Because children are allowed to have EUR 3,850 in reserves and still receive Hartz IV benefits. If, however, 1,200 euros from a vacation job are now in the savings account in August, the asset exemption has been exceeded.Since there are now 4,700 euros in the savings book, there will be no ALG II for the student from September - until the amount in excess of 3,850 euros has been used up.

The employer needs this information from the holiday jobber

Social security card: Schoolchildren receive their social security number when they take up a job for the first time - even if it is a mini job or a holiday job. As a rule, students do not have to apply for the social security card in which the German pension insurance system assigns this number. As soon as they take on their first job, the employer registers them with the health insurance company or the mini-job center. These request a social security number from the relevant pension insurance agency.

You should file the letter with your social security number, known as your social security card, in your job records. If you take up a new job, you should present it to the employer.

Tax ID: "And then we need the tax identification number". This employer statement regularly astonishes students. The fact is, however: every student should already have such an ID - and the employer needs the ID to electronically access the income tax information. Specifically, this is the tax class - usually tax class I for schoolchildren - the number of child allowances, any wage tax-free or additional amount and the church tax deduction.

  • Biallo tip: First ask the parents for the tax ID. If you cannot find what you are looking for, you can have the ID sent again from the Federal Central Tax Office, Referat St II 6, 53221 Bonn. You have to give your surname, first name, address, date of birth and place of birth. In general, student jobs - whether during or outside of vacation - are also subject to wage tax.

School attendance certificate: Employers often require such a certificate. These can be obtained from the school secretariat.

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