Part-time job: what you need to know about additional income

Earning a little extra? Not so easy

It sounds tempting: earning a few extra euros from home seems effortless. But be careful: some offers turn out to be rip-offs, with others you even make yourself liable to prosecution. And the big money usually does not beckon either.

Participate in online surveys or read in data records: Allegedly, this is a way to earn a few extra euros at the click of a mouse from home without any prior knowledge. It sounds almost too good to be true.

But how does it work exactly? Is it worth it? And how to recognize Nepp? Some important questions and answers on the subject.

What opportunities are there to earn money from home??

One possibility, for example, is to take part in online surveys. You give your opinion in a questionnaire for market research and collect a few cents or even euros for it. It is also possible to test products, check websites for usability, record data, maintain address lists and much more.

Which offers you should keep your hands off?

There are always dubious providers in this area. Alarm bells should go off immediately if a side job seems insanely lucrative, says Julia Rehberg, a lawyer at the consumer advice center in Hamburg. "In a very simple job, you simply can not earn a few thousand euros a month," she warns.

Many want to manage their own working hours

Many employees would like to work from home. Even employers could benefit. But there is no model for flexible working hours that both sides can agree on.

There is almost always a fraudulent intention behind it, in the end consumers lose money instead of earning it. At the same time job seekers should sort out offers immediately, with which they must go in Vorkasse. This is the case, for example, if they can only do a job if they first have to buy an expensive information brochure or take a seminar.

What’s still dangerous?

Under no circumstances should consumers make their bank account available. Some jobs consist of transferring money. For example, one receives 5000 euros on his account – and then is supposed to transfer 4500 to another account.

Users are allowed to keep the difference. "That sounds great at first, but there’s money laundering behind it," says consumer protection activist Rehberg. Consumers even risk criminal charges here.

How to recognize serious providers?

There should definitely be an imprint on the website, with a contact person, a postal address and contact options, explains Jurgen Wursthorn from the Federal Employment Agency. It’s also important to clearly describe what the task is and what the scope is.

At, the consumer advice center in Hamburg has compiled a list of known black sheep in the industry.

How do side jobs via the smartphone, i.e. crowdworking, work??

Apps such as Workhub, Streetspotr, Clickworker or Testbirds allow users to accept micro-jobs. Here, users earn cents or small amounts of euros by photographing a restaurant menu or documenting a discount promotion in a supermarket, for example.

There are now 2300 such platforms worldwide, and around 65 in Germany, says Thomas Klebe, head of the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute for Labor Law.

What do users earn?

Hourly pay in crowdworking is often very low, says Klebe. As a rule, it’s no more than extra income; you can’t live on the amounts. Who is interested in it, should look at exactly what one earns with a job, and whether the time expenditure is worthwhile for it.

Next, he says, it’s important to check out the platform: How do other users rate it, for example? You can do this, for example, on the website, an offer from IG Metall.

Germans are taking on more and more mini-jobs

Finally, it’s also worth taking a look at the general terms and conditions. "The German platforms are relatively fair, but with the international ones it’s the Wild West," says labor lawyer Klebe.

It may be specified that the client can unilaterally change the conditions of ongoing projects or that crowdworkers are not allowed to contact each other. Here it is important to check exactly where you are participating, he says.

What do employees who want to work from home need to consider?

If employees have a job, they should check whether they need to inform their employer about taking on a side job, says Klebe. In addition, the income must be declared in the tax return.

Those who are unemployed and receive unemployment benefit 1 or 2 are also allowed to earn a maximum of 160 euros a month on top of that, Wursthorn explains. Those who get more have to accept a reduction in state support.

In addition, you can’t officially work more than 15 hours a week to be available to the labor market. Otherwise threatens under circumstances a blockage of the unemployment pay.

This is how students can earn extra money

Vacation time is sideline time. Every second child in Germany is already supplementing his or her pocket money during the school vacations. From the age of 15, this is permitted under these conditions.

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