Mini-jobs are popular. Around 2.8 million people in Germany work part-time – often alongside their main job. However, the legislator sets narrow limits for the exemption from taxes and social security contributions. This applies especially if several mini-jobs are carried out at the same time. But what exactly defines a mini-job? Which social security contributions have to be paid and when can mini-jobbers be exempted from them?
What is a minijob?
A mini-job is a marginal employment. It lies gem. § 8 Abs. 1 no. 1 of the German Social Code IV (SGB IV), if the regular salary does not exceed 450 euros per month. Temporary employment relationships – so-called short-term employment – also count according to. § 8 para. 1 No. 2 SGB IV as a mini-job, provided that the activity is limited to a maximum of 3 months or 70 working days per year, is not performed on a regular basis and the remuneration does not exceed the limit of 450 euros per month.
Several mini-jobs: What does the legislator allow??
As a general rule, only one mini-job is tax-free in addition to a main job that is subject to compulsory insurance. As an insurable main employment are – in addition to a traditional employment relationship – also:
- in-house and external training
- employment that is interrupted due to the receipt of sick pay, transitional pay or short-time work pay
- the voluntary social or ecological year
- early retirement with corresponding remuneration.
However, if you do not have a main job that is subject to compulsory insurance, you may have as many mini-jobs as you wish. This also applies to mini-jobbers who:
- are on parental leave
- receive social welfare
- Receive unemployment benefit I or II
- whether the pensioner is participating in voluntary military service
Several mini-jobs at the same time: which regulations apply in detail?
Several mini-jobs without main employment
mini-jobbers who have several mini-jobs without a main employment subject to compulsory insurance may not earn more than 450 euros per month in total. This is the only way to remain exempt from health, nursing care and unemployment insurance. Anyone earning more than 450 euros must pay social security contributions – for each mini-job.
Several mini-jobs with main employment
A single mini-job in addition to the main job subject to compulsory insurance is tax-free. In addition, no contributions for health, nursing care and unemployment insurance are due. Although it is generally permissible to have several mini-jobs in addition to an employment relationship that is subject to insurance, the following rules apply:
- All employers must be informed about and agree to the mini-jobs.
- Only one of the mini-jobs is tax and social security free.
- A second and any further mini-job are added to the main job and are subject to social insurance contributions.
- Which mini-job remains tax-free is determined by the date of commencement of employment. The mini-job that was taken up first is considered the "first" and is exempt from the obligation to pay social security contributions.
Is it permissible to have a mini-job as a self-employed person??
Yes – also several. However, the income from this must not exceed 450 euros per month. Otherwise, all mini-jobs are subject to social insurance contributions.
Mini-job and pensioner: Is this permitted??
Yes, pensioners are allowed to have several mini-jobs. Whether or not they are subject to compulsory social insurance depends on this:
- which type of pension is drawn
- whether the pensioner has reached the standard age limit
Pensioners with a mini-job do not pay health insurance contributions and are exempt from compulsory social insurance – provided the earnings limit of 450 euros per month is not exceeded. In the pension insurance there is basically compulsory insurance. Exception: the jobbing pensioner already receives a full old-age pension. If a jobbing pensioner decides to pay pension insurance contributions voluntarily, this decision is binding for the entire duration of the mini-job.
If a full pensioner has reached the standard retirement age, he or she can earn an unlimited amount of additional income without his or her mini-job affecting the amount of his or her pension. Before reaching the standard retirement age, the supplementary income limits apply.
Special case: Several mini-jobs with the same employer
If several mini-jobs are carried out with the same employer, they are considered as a single employment relationship for social security purposes. This also applies if the minijobber is employed in different areas of the company.
A uniform employment relationship does not exist, however, if the mini-jobber is employed at the same time by different employers who are closely intertwined organizationally and economically and/or one and the same person has the decision-making authority over the work to be performed by the mini-jobber.