What does freedom mean to a student

Ordinary students - working students

Current

In order to take into account problems in seasonal work, especially in the field of agriculture, due to the Corona crisis, the time limits for short-term employment are being extended to a maximum of five months or 115 days. The extension of the time limits is limited to October 31, 2020.


Revision of the joint circular on the insurance law assessment of employed students and interns
The revised joint circular on the insurance law assessment of employed students and interns was announced on November 23, 2016; it replaces the previous version of 07/27/2004. The statements are to be taken into account in the insurance assessment of employed students and interns from 01.01.2017; this also applies if the employment was started before 01.01.2017 (more).

Basics

For working students, the regulations on the statutory minimum wage must be observed from 01/01/2015.

Employment that is carried out for remuneration is subject to compulsory social insurance. Under certain conditions, student jobs are excluded from this principle in health, long-term care and unemployment insurance. The exemption from pension insurance for jobs carried out by students has been abolished with effect from October 1, 1996.

Exemption from insurance in all branches of social security exists for students only in the context of short-term employment. In a marginally paid job (450 euro job) there is compulsory pension insurance from 01.01.2013, from which the employee can, however, be exempted. Working students are exempt from health, long-term care and unemployment insurance (also outside the limits of marginal part-time employment) in an occupation carried out in addition to their studies under certain conditions.

Health insurance
Section 6 Paragraph 1 No. 3 SGB V:

(1) Are insurance-free
...
3.Persons who are employed as regular students at a university or a specialist training school for remuneration for the duration of their studies,
...

care insurance
This also applies to long-term care insurance, as this basically follows health insurance.

unemployment insurance
Section 27 Paragraph 4 Clause 1 No. 2 SGB III:

(4) Persons who are exempt from insurance for the duration
  1. their training at a general school or
  2. of their studies as a regular student at a university or a school providing technical training
have an occupation. Sentence 1 no. 1 does not apply if the employee attends school facilities that provide further training outside of normal working hours.

The universities include, for example:
Universities, technical colleges / universities, pedagogical colleges, mining academies, veterinary colleges, agricultural colleges, business schools, art and music colleges, church / philosophy-theological colleges, technical colleges Evidence of your studies at a university must be provided with the certificate of enrollment.

The schools serving technical training include technical schools, higher technical schools and vocational schools. The study or attendance at one of these schools with a predominantly vocational character must be proven by means of a certificate.

Working students or students who are employed during the semester break are to be reported using person group code 106 and contribution group code 0100.

However, if the student's work is in the foreground, the person group key 101 must be reported with contribution group key 1111.

Regular students

Extract from the circular on the assessment of employed students and interns under insurance law dated November 23, 2016:

The requirement for the application of the regulations on the exemption from insurance of the occupations carried out by students is first of all that they belong to the group of regular students. This assumes that a scientific education takes place in an orderly course of study or training and that the student submits to a training regulation related to the study or based on it (judgment of the BSG of December 19, 1974 - 3 RK 64/72 -, USK 74169 ).

People who remain enrolled after graduating from university are no longer classed as regular students in the sense of social insurance. If, after completing a university degree, an occupation and an additional course in the same subject area or a supplementary course are taken up, which only serves the purpose of professional further education by conveying a further job-related (partial) qualification related to the completed course, the criterion of the regular student is regular no longer given. In contrast to this, a postgraduate degree (with the exception of a doctoral degree), a second degree in another subject area or a master’s degree does not exclude membership of the group of regular students (see letter c)

In several judgments, the Federal Social Court has ruled that not every job carried out in addition to studying triggers exemption from insurance, but only those students who are working students are exempt from insurance whose time and manpower are mainly used by the studies, i.e. who, in terms of their appearance, are not employees, but are students.

The prerequisite for exemption from insurance for the occupations carried out by students is membership of the group of regular students. The term "regular students" includes those students who are enrolled at a university or a school serving technical training and whose time and manpower is mainly used for the course. The study represents the focus of the student's work performance, if

  • the working hours of the employment do not exceed 20 hours per week
    or
  • the employment is limited to no more than three months from the outset
    or
  • the employment is carried out exclusively during the semester break.

The Federal Social Court has consistently ruled that people who work more than 20 hours a week in addition to their studies are generally to be regarded as employees according to their appearance. When checking the appearance, independent activities must be taken into account in addition to employment.
Here, too, there are special features and exceptions to be observed.
Activities on the weekend as well as in the evening and night hours. Extract from the circular on the assessment of employed students and interns under insurance law dated November 23, 2016:

However, the duration of the weekly working time is not the only criterion relevant to the decision-making for the assessment under insurance law if it is in the individual case in such a way that it adapts and subordinates itself to the requirements of the degree. Accordingly, exemption from insurance can be considered for work on weekends as well as in the evening and night hours due to the working student privilege even if the weekly working time is more than 20 hours, provided that the student's time and manpower are mainly used by the studies (judgment of the BSG from 02/22/1980 - 12 RK 34/79 -, USK 8053). However, the appearance of a student can no longer be assumed if such employment is carried out with a weekly working time of more than 20 hours without a time limit or is limited to a period of more than 26 weeks; in these cases, membership of the group of employees comes to the fore (see also letter d).

If an employment is only extended to more than 20 hours during the lecture-free period (semester break), it is generally assumed that this period is also exempt from insurance.

There is also a 26-week limit for students. If a student is employed over 26 weeks (182 calendar days) with a weekly working time of more than 20 hours in the course of a year (not a calendar year, but a time year, calculated back from the expected end of the employment to be assessed), he is an employee in terms of appearance. All employment relationships with weekly working hours of more than 20 hours are taken into account. It doesn't matter whether the employment was during the lecture period or during the semester break. For the employment to be assessed, if the 26-week limit is exceeded, there is a compulsory social security insurance right from the start.

Corona crisis - extended semester breaks due to the crisis
Extract from the trade journal "summa summarum" of the German pension insurance (edition 02/2020):

In this context, the semester break, which has been extended or extended beyond the originally planned end due to the Corona crisis, is also considered to be the lecture-free time.

Even the longer semester breaks caused by the crisis do not change the fact that the working student privilege is lost if jobs or employment times of more than 20 hours per week (including those in the semester break) are repeated in the course of a year and total more than 26 weeks.

Membership in the group of people (student) as well as studying at a corresponding university must be proven by the student to the employer by submitting a certificate of enrollment. This is to be added to the payment documents.

This results in the following exceptions to the 20-hour limit (approved by the Federal Social Court):

  • The weekly 20-hour limit is only exceeded during the semester break.
    The course thus (as already mentioned above) represents the focus of the student's work.
    This means that permanent employment with a maximum of 20 hours a week can be extended to more than 20 hours during the semester break without losing the exemption from insurance.
  • The weekly 20-hour limit is exceeded due to predominant employment times in the evening and night hours or on the weekend.
    The student has to provide evidence by means of suitable documents that his time and manpower is mainly used by the study. The exception is only permitted in individual cases (judgment of the Federal Social Court of February 22nd, 1980 - 12 RK 34/79 -, USK 8053).
  • The employment is limited to no more than three months from the outset.
    From 01/01/2015, the time limits of Section 8 (1) No. 2 SGB IV for marginal employment have been extended from two to three months or from 50 to 70 working days. The extension of the time limits must therefore also be taken into account when assessing under insurance law the (temporary) jobs carried out by students.
    Note: Temporary increase in the time limits for short-term employment from March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020
  • Application of the 26-week limit (see above)

See also circular from the central associations of health insurance funds from November 23, 2016

The universities in the Federal Republic of Germany usually offer their courses in a two-tier system - Bachelor and Master. The working student privilege applies to both the Bachelor and Master’s phase of a degree program.

If, after completing a university degree, you take up employment and a supplementary or second degree, which is only used for professional development, the criterion of a "regular student" is no longer given.
However, if the student takes on a postgraduate or second degree that leads to a degree of his own, he remains free of charge within the scope of employment to the extent mentioned above.

In the following cases, the exemption from insurance as a working student (group of regular students) is no longer possible:

  • De-registration
  • End of higher education
    • By 2016: The student has passed the final exam prescribed by the university for the respective course in accordance with the relevant examination regulations.
    • From 2017: The university education in the sense of the application of the working student privilege is considered to have ended at the end of the month in which the student was officially informed in writing of the overall result of the examination performance. The official written notification means the receipt of the provisional certificate sent by post from the examination office; the later submission of the final certificate (in the context of a graduation ceremony) is of no importance in this context.
  • PhD studies
  • Semester on leave (official interruption of studies)
  • Transition period between Bachelor and Master’s degree (if the Master’s degree does not immediately follow the completed Bachelor’s degree)
  • Long-term students (students who study more than 25 semesters)
  • Part-time students who spend half or less than half of their time studying full-time.
  • Advanced, supplementary and second degree only for further training. If it is merely a matter of further training or specialization after completing a university education.
  • Language courses, preparatory colleges
  • Guest auditor

Study time of up to 25 semesters
In the case of employed students with an unusually long study duration, however, the rebuttable presumption is assumed that for a study period of more than 25 semesters per study course, the study is no longer in the foreground and therefore freedom from insurance due to the working student privilege is no longer possible. A change of the technical college or university within the course is irrelevant.

Employment during a vacation semester
Students who are on leave of absence for one or more semesters if they are still matriculated do not take part in the course during this time. If an occupation is carried out during the period of leave of absence, it can be assumed that the student does not appear to be a student. Deviating from this is accepted when completing an internship prescribed in the study or examination regulations during the vacation semester.

Transition from bachelor's to master's degree
In the transition from the bachelor's to the master’s degree, membership of the group of regular students cannot be assumed, since the new training phase in the form of the master’s degree usually does not follow the end of the bachelor’s degree without gaps. In the case of such interruptions, given the required university membership, exemption from insurance cannot be granted due to the working student privilege. The mere intention of wanting to start further studies at the earliest possible point in time is not enough to close the gap (circular from the central associations of the health insurance funds from November 23, 2016).

Employment of part-time students
For part-time students, the regulation on exemption from insurance due to the working student privilege applies if the course takes up more than half of the time of a full-time course. Employment of part-time students who spend half or less than half of the time of a full-time course on their studies, on the other hand, are not covered by the student worker regulation.

Insurance law assessment of diploma students and people who go to a company to write their thesis as part of a bachelor's or master's degree.

Detailed information on dual courses of study.

Information on the social security treatment of interns.

Wage documents

If students are employed without insurance, the following documents / evidence should be taken to the payroll account:

  • Certificate of enrollment (certificate of enrollment)
  • Employment contract (in the case of a fixed term with the beginning and end of employment)
  • Reference to further employment (if available)
  • Written declaration by the student that he will not be doing any other work at the same time (to be on the safe side)

This makes it easier to prove that the student is exempt from insurance during a tax audit.


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