Registration procedures and residence permits
Kinds of employment
- The Federal Republic of Germany is availing itself of the option to restrict free access to the German labour market during a transition period.
- Since 1 January 2014 workers from Bulgaria and Romania have also been able to enter the German labour market. Only Croatian workers still need an EU work permit [Arbeitsgenehmigung-EU] under certain circumstances.
- Skilled workers from Croatia with a university degree or a comparable qualification do not need an Arbeitsgenehmigung-EU [EU work permit] to pursue employment that corresponds to their professional qualifications, and nor do their family members who are entitled to freedom of movement.
- Croatian seasonal workers no longer require a work permit for seasonal employment. Trainees do not require an EU work permit for a qualified in-company training course for a state-recognised or similarly accredited training occupation either.
- Employees who have had access to the German labour market for twelve months are entitled to an EU work permit, which is granted without restriction or time limit. In addition, workers from the accession countries are given preference over citizens of third countries when trying to access the German labour market. The Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV) [International Placement Services] of the Federal Employment Agency can answer more wide-ranging questions on the possibilities for working in Germany and on work permits.
- The EU work permit should be requested directly from the ZAV. Further information can be found at www.zav.de/arbeiten-in-deutschland.
- Detailed information can also be found on the website of the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft [Federal Ministry of Economics] under the heading ‘Informationen über die Anwendung des EU-Beitrittsvertrages bei der Beschäftigung von Staatsangehörigen der Beitrittsstaaten’ [Information on the application of the EU Accession Treaty when employing citizens of accession states].
- The dominant type of paid employment in Germany is still an open-ended full-time employment contract with a working week of around 40 hours. However, this ‘standard employment contract’ has become steadily less common since 1997, with the proportion of jobs involving such a contract having shrunk from 82.5% to 66%. On the other hand, new types of employment (fixed-term or marginal employment, part-time work, temporary work) became more significant over the same period (increase from 17.5% to 22%).
- Part-time work has many facets. In addition to ‘regular’ part-time work subject to social security insurance, there are also so-called ‘mini jobs’ in which it is possible to earn a maximum of EUR 450 a month. Some 7 million people are employed in ‘mini jobs’ at the present time, primarily in the retail trade, catering, building management and market and landscape gardening.
- After a temporary slump as a result of the world economic crisis, the temporary agency sector has being growing rapidly again in Germany and now provides around 847 000 people with a job.
Forms of self-employment have also gained in importance in recent years and account for around 12% of those employed. The share accounted for by self-employed persons without employees grew particularly sharply.
The minimum age for regular employment in a business is 15. Although trainees work in a business as part of their vocational training, they are not employed in the conventional sense and therefore enter into a vocational training contract with the company providing the training..