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Information about the student job

Fit for your student job: What you need to know.

Working has always been an important part of financing your studies. Even more so in times of rising living costs and inflation.

At this point we have summarized what should be taken into account when choosing a part-time job.

Photo: Felix Noak / stW BERLIN
Students waiting tables with a tray and apron.

Due to the so-called working student privilege, students and employers have to pay less social security contributions. Reason: Taxes for unemployment insurance as well as health and nursing care insurance are no longer applicable. Only the pension insurance portion has to be paid. Even if you do not have to pay for health and nursing care insurance, you must have health insurance: For students under 25, family insurance is an option (if the additional income limits are met, see below), followed by statutory student health insurance (voluntary for those aged 30 and over). or private health insurance.

Prerequisite The working student privilege means that you do not work more than 20 hours during the lecture period. You are allowed to work full-time during the lecture-free period because it does not affect your studies.

Exception: You can only work more than 20 hours during lecture periods if this takes place on weekends, public holidays, in the evenings or at night. However, this activity must be limited to a maximum of 26 weeks (182 calendar days) within a period of 12 months. At the 26 week rule The calendar year does not apply as a determination period: one assumes the expected end of the employment being assessed and, based on this, considers the last 12 months.

If you do not adhere to the 26-week rule, you will lose your working student privilege. Social security contributions will then be due for you and your employer.

Attention: You cannot benefit from the working student privilege for part-time study programs or during a vacation semester. The same applies to part-time studies with a volume of up to 50 percent of full-time studies, to self-employment and a few other constellations. Important for self-employed people: Student health insurance may still be possible.

In general, you are entitled to the minimum wage of currently 12,42 euros per hour (as of January 01).
There are no limits to the top.

With a mini-job you can earn up to 538 euros per month and pay no taxes or social security contributions. Pension insurance contributions are deducted as normal, but you can apply to be exempt from these. When it comes to taxes, employers only pay lump sums. These regulations apply to all mini-jobbers and are independent of student status. Even with a mini-job, you don't have health insurance through your work and therefore have to take care of it yourself.

In general, you are entitled to the minimum wage of currently 12,42 euros per hour (as of January 01). There are no limits to the top.

For example, if you have family insurance from your health insurance company BAföG or if you live in a community with people who receive social benefits, different additional income limits must be taken into account:

At the nuclear family insurance can you e.g. B. just do a mini-job or earn a maximum of 505 euros per month (as of January 01) plus the flat rate for advertising expenses. The flat rate for advertising expenses in 2024 is 2024 euros. This is proportionally 1.230 euros per month. If you don't work the whole year (102,50 months), the flat rate for business expenses can sometimes be distributed differently in your favor, which means that you may be able to earn a little more. It is best to always ask your health insurance company in advance. In general, it is advisable to inform your health insurance company about starting a job or changes.

Im BAföG-Reference You are allowed to earn a maximum of 12 euros gross (equivalent to approx. 6.251,02 euros per month) in an approval period of 520 months. Anything beyond that will be yours at around 80% BAföG credited. If you are self-employed, the additional income limits are slightly different. You can find more information on the Website of the BAföG-Office.

On the child benefit The level of your income has no influence.

If your total income remains below the annual basic allowance of 11.604 euros (applies to 2024) plus business expenses (flat rate for 2024: 1.230 euros), you do not have to pay taxes. However, if you have a higher income in individual months, your income tax may be deducted. However, if your annual income remains below the basic allowance plus income-related expenses, any excess taxes paid will usually be refunded to you via your tax return. With a mini-job, as long as you don't have any other jobs, you usually don't have any income tax deducted.

A certain percentage of your earnings is paid into the pension insurance. Your employer and you each pay half. In a mini-job, you can apply to be exempt from pension insurance contributions.

As part of the working student privilege and for mini-jobs, there are no further social security contributions. However, if you combine several jobs, this may behave differently. In this case, it is best to seek advice.

You are also entitled to vacation as a working student or mini-jobber. You are entitled to the same number of vacation days as the other employees in your company. You are also entitled to continued payment of wages during vacation and in the event of illness. However, if you are absent for longer than 6 weeks, you are unfortunately not entitled to sick pay from the health insurance company.

The most important thing first: Don't terminate your employment contract too quickly if you become pregnant!

As a pregnant woman, you and your unborn child are particularly protected by law in the workplace. Employers must ensure that your health and that of your child is not endangered. Night work, lifting heavy loads, handling dangerous chemicals, etc. are taboo. Pregnant women also have special protection against dismissal.

If employers cannot offer suitable work, pregnant women are usually released and receive maternity leave. During the statutory maternity protection period, maternity benefit can be used as a wage replacement benefit.

Tip for international students: After the birth, parents with a visa for study purposes also have the opportunity to receive family benefits (child benefit, parental allowance, maintenance advance) if they cannot (fully) pursue their employment due to parental leave or have an employment contract.

The situations of pregnant women or students with families are very individual. It is therefore best to get information from the social counseling. The social workers can also look for possible solutions with you in financial emergencies.

As a working student or mini-jobber, unlike regular employees, you are not entitled to unemployment benefit if you lose your job. After all, you don’t have to pay all the social security contributions. Even after completing your studies, you cannot receive unemployment benefit.