Förderprogramm "Integration durch Qualifizierung IQ"

FAQ – Mini job

What is a mini job?

In a mini job, you are allowed to earn a maximum of 538 Euros (gross) per month. You work relatively few hours each month. The mini job is also known as "geringfügige Beschäftigung” (marginal employment).

As an employee, you do not have to pay social insurance contributions or income tax for a mini job. This means you keep your full wage. You only pay a small amount into the pension scheme. You can also get yourself exempted from compulsory insurance in the statutory pension scheme.

Please note: the statutory minimum wage also applies to mini jobs.

Industry-specific minimum wages, i.e. minimum wages that apply to all employees in certain sectors or industries, also apply to mini jobs.

These industry-specific minimum wages are always higher than the statutory minimum wage. When you start a mini job, your employer must register you with the mini job centre. This always applies, regardless of whether you work in a company or in a private household. If you are unsure whether you are registered, you can ask the mini job centre. The mini job centre can use your national insurance number to determine whether you are registered. If you have not been registered, you can decide whether to provide the mini job centre with information about your employer. The mini job centre can write to the employer and ask them to register you.

Your employment rights in a mini job

In a mini job, the same employment rights apply to you as to other employees. Your rights arise from laws or collective agreements. For example, you are entitled to holiday, continued payment of your wages if you are sick, and the minimum wage. If you are treated unfairly, contact your Fair Integration advice centre.

How much holiday do you have in a mini job?

This depends on how much holiday has been agreed. The agreement is in your employment contract. You are entitled to the statutory minimum number of holiday days or the holiday specified in your collective agreement.

Please note: these regulations refer to 5 or 6-day weeks (working days). If you work fewer days a week, you also have fewer days of holiday.

Your employer cannot force you to take holiday at a time when you are not working anyway. Example: if you only work from Monday to Wednesday, your employer cannot demand that you take holiday on Thursday and Friday.  Because you wouldn’t be working then anyway. If a public holiday falls on a Monday, for example, you do not have to make up the hours on another day. 

Sick leave in a mini job

If you are ill, you must inform your employer before your working day begins. You then have to tell him/her how long you (think you) will be ill for. From the fourth (consecutive) day you must have a sick note from a doctor and give it to your employer. Your employment contract states which regulations apply to you. If you have been working for your employer for more than four weeks, you are entitled to continued payment of your wages for up to six weeks (during the illness).

Please note: you do not have to make up for sick days by working extra days later. You must still receive your wages.


Health insurance in a mini job

Please note: you are not covered by health insurance if you have a mini job!

You must have health insurance in Germany! It is mandatory. You must therefore take out health insurance: Through the job centre, voluntary insurance (which you have to pay for) or via the health insurance of a family member.

Pensions, unemployment insurance & insurance in the event of an accident at work

If you have a mini job, you do not pay into unemployment insurance. You are not entitled to unemployment benefits or short-time working allowance in a mini job. You only pay a small amount into the pension scheme in a mini job. This will result in low rights to a pension.

Please note: you can apply to not have to pay the contribution to the pension scheme.

Disadvantage of this: it will not count towards your pension later. Without the contribution to the pension scheme, you are also not entitled to a reduced earning capacity pension, survivors' pension or rehabilitation benefits.

The advantage of this: you will receive the full 538 Euros in your account without any deductions.

Work accidents

If you have an accident at work, you are insured through your employer in a mini job. This insurance cover also applies to accidents on the direct route to work or from work back home.

Can you have mini jobs alongside your main job?

Yes, you can have a main job subject to social insurance contributions and a mini job. However, you must make sure that you do not work more than 10 hours a day (maximum working time). You can also combine multiple mini jobs. But you can only earn a maximum of 538 Euros in total from the mini jobs. If you earn more, you have to pay tax on all the jobs.

Please note: if you need a work permit for your main job, you must also apply for a work permit for a mini job at the Foreigners' Registration Office.

You must always inform your employers about other mini jobs or second jobs! Your main employer is allowed to check whether it is possible for you to work in a mini job alongside your main job. He/she can also forbid you from doing so. For example, if your work puts too much strain on you physically or in terms of time.

What happens if you earn more than 538 Euros?

As long as you don’t exceed the limit of 6.456 Euros per year, you can also earn more than 538 Euros per month. From 6.456 Euros (gross/year), your job is subject to social insurance contributions: Your employer must pay contributions to health, pension, nursing care and unemployment insurance from your salary. The net amount of money you then earn is less than your gross salary. However, it means that you are fully insured, including health insurance.

Please note: if you are employed in a mini job but earn more than 6.456 Euros (gross/year), this is not right. Your employer may be liable to prosecution. This can also have negative consequences for you. You should seek advice from your Fair Integration advice centre!


Do you receive state support for a mini job?

You might be able to apply for unemployment benefits II (ALG II) from the job centre, or for housing benefits. The best thing to do is to seek advice.

Please note: if you receive ALG II, the job centre will usually also cover the costs of your health insurance. Part of your mini job income will be deducted from the benefits you receive (you will then receive less than someone who does not have a mini job and receives benefits).


What does midi job or Gleitzone mean?

In a midi job, you earn between 538.01 Euros and 2,000.00 Euros gross per month, i.e. more than in a mini job. Gleitzone is another word for midi job. With this job, you pay a small contribution to social insurance. However, you are fully insured in terms of health, nursing care, unemployment and pension. You also need to pay taxes.

From 2,000 Euros (gross/month), the employee must pay the full contribution into the social insurance system.