Labour Law for Midi-Jobbers in Germany

by Jibran Shahid

“Gleitzone”, also known as midi job, is a widely utilized employment arrangement in Germany. This concept was introduced by the German federal government in 2003 to address the potential disadvantages faced by individuals who earn slightly more than the threshold for insurance-free mini-jobs. This blog post will guide you through the intricacies of midi jobs in Germany, providing all the information you need to know.

What are midi jobs?

Midi job denotes a form of marginal work that serves as a kind of transitional area. In other words, increasing social contribution obligations and variable Steuersatz (tax rates). The salary package for a midi jobber usually ranges from €520.01 to €2,000.00.

The term “Gleitzone” directly correlates with the sliding contribution scale applied to this specific type of employment. Under this arrangement, employees contribute a modest portion of their earnings to the social security system.

One significant advantage of Midi-Jobs is that they come with comprehensive coverage for health insurance, sick leave, unemployment benefits, and pension plans. However, when the monthly salary surpasses €909, employees must cover the entire social insurance amount.

In addition, reduced employee contributions are paid up to the amount of the upper limit of the permitted earnings. This prevents lower Rentenleistungen (pension benefits) from being the result of reduced pension contributions. However, income and payroll tax (Lohnsteuer and Einkommensteuer) must be paid.

Who can work as a midi jobber?

In general, midi jobs are open to anyone who is legally authorized to work in Germany – this includes international students.

However, you will need to ensure the hours worked do not conflict with your student visa restrictions. Keep in mind, that according to student visa requirements, no more than 120 full or 240 half days may be worked in a calendar year. By working illegally, many foreigners end up violating them. Workers can also be occasionally deported if they break the law, don’t pay taxes, or don’t have the proper paperwork for their employment. It is important to note though that the employer is also responsible for adhering to the law. 

What are the differences between a mini and a midi job?

You might wonder if the mini-job and midi-job are the same. Here are the differences:

Mini Job
  • Monthly salary cannot exceed
    €520
  • Net Salary is equal to Gross Salary
  • Mini-jobbers are exempted from contributing to social security. They are also exempted from paying for
    long-term care and unemployment insurance. On request, you can also be
    exempted from the pension insurance. You have the same labor rights as other employees if you work a mini-job.
Midi Job
  • Monthly salary: €520.01-2,000.00 
  • Net Salary is equal to Gross Salary after deducting social contributions
  • A midi-job is subject to social security contributions as compared to a mini-job. Those with midi-jobs contribute less to pension, health, nursing, and unemployment insurance. So, midi-jobbers, too, have a right to pension protection.
What are the advantages of midi jobs?
  1. You’ll contribute less to Social Security as a midi jobber while still receiving your full pension.
  2. Midi-jobber income tax is only payable in certain circumstances. If you only have a midi job and fall into tax categories 1, 2, or 4, you will not have to pay income tax if your annual income does not exceed €10,908 per year (as per 2023). Regardless of what income you generate, if it’s your only job, you won’t pay any taxes if you’re in the tax bracket.
  3. You’ll immediately fall into tax bracket 6 if it’s your second job. You’ll pay income tax accordingly, with any other circumstances that place you in tax brackets 5 or 6. 
  4. You still have full coverage and pay less for health and long-term care insurance. Even if you pay a lower unemployment insurance rate, you’ll still receive 60% of your average net earnings for the previous 12 months (or 67% if you have children) if you’ve worked at a regular job for at least 12 months in a row.
How do I get a midi job in Germany?

Finding a decent midi job in Germany might seem like a task, but here’s what you can do to ease your search. First and foremost, the best platform for finding good jobs is LinkedIn. It is one of the best sources available and can help you get a midi job.

Secondly, if you are a student visiting on a student visa, you can check your university’s student union and get your hands on a midi job that pays a modest amount. 

Lastly, if you belong to the working adult class, you can watch for local postings using regional forums, as they are a great resource and come in handy.

Conclusion

In short, midi jobs are a middle way between working a full-time and mini job. The only difference that appears is the tax and social contribution fee between the two kinds of employment. Midi jobbers have an increased financial freedom compared to mini jobbers, so getting one might be a great opportunity for international students.

Jibran Shahid is from Pakistan. He came to Germany to pursue a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management, which he successfully completed in 2016. In 2022, he founded Live In Germany, an information platform for expats in Germany.

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