What You Need To Know About Student Jobs
Student jobs are great for earning additional pocket money that's nothing to do with parents and student loans – plus, it's a good way of gaining work experience. But before you rush into that job at the supermarket checkout, behind the counter, or at the office desk, you need to ask yourself a few questions...
4 lectures a week, 6 seminars, housework, group sessions – and on top of that, 20 hours of waiting tables? You'll need to consider that a job will take a lot of time and energy, and ask yourself whether it is realistic to take this on in addition to your studies.
Employment contract signed?
Having an employment contract for your student job is a legal requirement. The Documentation of Employment Contracts Act ("Nachweisgesetz") stipulates a deadline of one month from start of employment as well as specific content. For example, the contract must include details of the period of notice, commencement of contract, job location, description of the student's work, calculation and amount of salary as well as holiday entitlement.
If your salary is in excess of €450 /month, you are liable for pension insurance. And if, as a student, you are covered by your family's health insurance, you'll need to take out the statutory students' insurance as soon as your monthly earnings exceed the €450 limit.
Weekly working hours?
Conventional student jobs allow for up to 20 hours work per week during term time without incurring full health insurance liability. Also allowed is a short-term job (no more than 2 months in a row or 50 working days per year) or a job that takes place exclusively during term holidays.
Your parents will continue to receive child allowance unless your annual income exceeds €7,680.
Student loan ("BAföG")?
If you receive a student loan ("BAföG"), you are allowed gross earnings of €4,800/year, or a monthly gross average of €400, without it affecting your student loan status.
Sick or on holiday?
You are entitled to salary payments in case of sickness, for bank holidays, and paid holidays – regardless of what it says in your contract.
Occupational health and safety?
You have a right to health and safety at work – depending on your job, this may include, for example, safety shoes/boots, facemasks, hearing protection etc. Any accidents at work must be reported to the appropriate trade association, as this is important evidence in case of future health complications.
Student employees may not be paid less than permanent staff for the same work (Equal Pay Act – "Gleichheitsgebot").
You are entitled to an employment reference. This should include the duration of your employment as well as a specific description of your job.
You have dismissal protection. Any notice given must be in writing. The notice period varies depending on your length of employment.