"Mini-Jobs" in Germany
how much can I earn as a “mini-jobber”?
From students and pensioners to stay-home mothers/fathers or even employees, many get so-called "mini-jobs" to earn something extra on the side. Here you can learn what a mini-job actually is and what you have to consider as someone with a mini-job.
What do I have to know?
A mini-job is a marginal job for which you cannot earn more than €520 per month- or only include short-term employment for a few weeks or months. So, in principle, there are two types of mini-jobs:
- With a so-called mini-job with "income limit" (Minijob „mit Verdienstgrenze“), you earn a maximum of €520 per month or €6240 per year. So you can make more than €450 in individual months and less in other months during the rest of the year- It is crucial that you do not earn more than €6240 a year as a "mini-jobber", including one-off payments such as holiday pay or Christmas bonus.
- With a mini-job as a "short-term employment" ("Kurzfristigen Beschäftigung"), you work less than three months (for a 5-hour week) or 70 working days (if you work less than five days per week) per year. It doesn't matter how much you earn during this time- but you must be only employed for a short time to count as a "mini-jobber".
You can find a mini-job at a company or in private households. Numerous mini-jobs are available in the catering, retail or trade sector. In private homes, many find mini-jobs as, e.g. cleaning aide, domestic helper or babysitter.
Labour law applies to mini-jobbers as well as other employees, i.e. as a person with a mini-job, you are also entitled to the statutory minimum wage and holiday. You can find out more about your rights as an employee in our chapters "Labour rights" and “Employment Contract”.
Mini-jobbers don't have to make social security contributions, i.e. as a mini-jobber, you do not have to pay into long-term care and unemployment insurance. You can also become exempt from the pension insurance upon request. To do so, you need to apply to your employer for exemption from the compulsory pension insurance. Otherwise, part of your wages will be directly deduced and paid into pension insurance. By making contributions to pension insurance, you will earn a little less, but eventually will receive a (small) pension and can retire somewhat earlier. You can find out more about pensions in our chapter "Retiring in Germany".
Please note: Every person in Germany must have health insurance, including mini-jobbers. Since a mini-job does not include social insurance contributions, you have to find another health insurance option, for instance, the family insurance or health insurance for students. Otherwise, you have to pay the regular contributions yourself. You can find out more about health insurance in our chapter "Health insurance".
In principle, incomes obtained from mini-jobs are also subject to taxation.
- In the case of a mini-job with “income limit”, however, a so-called flat-rate tax ("pauschale Versteuerung") is applied, i.e. your employer pays 2% of your gross monthly salary as a flat-rate tax. You will not have any other tax obligations as a mini-jobber.
- In the case of a mini-job as a so-called "short-term employment", there are two options: flat-rate taxation of 25% of income (plus solidarity tax and, if applicable, church tax) or individual taxation through a so-called "Lohnsteuerkarte". In principle, taxation through a "Lohnsteuerkarte" or income tax card will cost you less, since you will only have to pay tax if you earn more than the substance income ("Grundsicherung"). You can find out more about taxation in Germany in our chapters "The German tax system" and "Tax Return".
Yes, you can. Keep in mind, however, that if you earn more than €520 per month or work longer than three months (or 70 working days) per year in total, you will no longer be considered a mini-jobber- which means, for instance, that you have to make social security contributions.
Yes. However, your employer must also agree. As long as you only have one mini-job, the income resulted will be exempt from social security contributions. If you have more than one mini-job alongside your full-time job, however, all the extra mini-jobs and your full-time job are taken into account. You will then have to make social security contributions for the additional mini-jobs.
There is no lower/upper limit for your number of working hours. It is only essential that you do not exceed the €520 income limit or (in the case of short-term employment) the span of three months/70 working days per year.
If you regularly earn more than €520 per month, your job is considered to be a "midi-job" rather than a mini-job. Those with a midi-job have to make social security contributions. You can find out more about midi-jobs in the section "What is a Midi-job?".
If you earn more only exceptionally and without prior planning (e.g. because you stood in for a sick colleague) up to three times in a year, you will continue to be considered a mini-jobber.
Yes. If you take a mini-job despite receiving unemployment benefit I or financial support from the Jobcentre, however, there are a few things you need to consider.
If you receive benefits from the Jobcenter:
- You must notify the Jobcentre about your mini-job before you start. Otherwise, your benefits will be reduced.
- The benefits from the Jobcentre are reduced according to your additional income. You can earn €100 per month plus 20% of the remaining extra income you have earned. Anything you make beyond that will be deducted from your "Bürgergeld". So if you, for instance, earn €520, you can keep €100 plus 20% of the remnant €420 (€520 minus €100), i.e. a total of €184.
If you receive unemployment benefit I:
- You must notify the Jobcentre about your mini-job before you start.
- You can work for a maximum of 14 hours and 59 minutes a week. If you work 15 hours or more per week, you are no longer considered unemployed and will not receive unemployment benefit I.
- Your unemployment benefit is reduced according to your additional income. You can earn €165 per month when receiving unemployment benefit I. Anything you make beyond that will be deducted from your unemployment benefit I.
When your monthly income is between €520.01 to €1600, you are considered a midi-jobber. In contrast to a mini-job, a midi-job is subject to social security contributions. However, people with midi-jobs make a smaller contribution to pension, health, nursing and unemployment insurance compared to regular employees. So midi-jobbers, too, are entitled to pension coverage. You can find out more about the German pension system in our chapter "Retiring in Germany".
Please note: If you have several midi-jobs, the salaries you earn from all these jobs are summed together. You can only benefit from the Midi-job scheme if your salary altogether is less than €1600. If you combine a mini-job and a midi-job, the mini-job remains exempt of social security contributions. If you have more than one mini-job, the income resulted from all extra mini-jobs will be added to your midi-job. If you, then, earn more than €1600 in total, you are no longer considered a midi-jobber.
Mini-jobbers and mid-jobbers are entitled to the statutory minimum wage. You can learn more about the minimum wage and much more in our chapter “Employment Contract“.