Flexible forms of work

Fixed-term contracts


Job contracts with a defined date of the beginning and ending of employment. The fixed-term contracts can be part time or full time. The expiry date must always be set down in writing. If that is not done, the employment contract is deemed to be open-ended.

Training contracts


Before the vocational training starts, a written training contract is signed with the company at which the training is to be provided. This contract sets out the content and goals to be achieved in the training. Young people who require financial support during their training can apply for vocational training assistance (Berufsausbildungsbeihilfe) from the Employment Agency.

450 Euro mini jobs/marginal employment


A minijob is a minor occupation. That means that there are certain limits for earning and/or time. The wage threshold is 450 euros per month. You have the same rights as the other workers and also the nationwide minimum wage of at least 8.84€/ hour applies to you. You do not have to pay taxes and you can choose not to pay contributions towards the state pension, however you can supplement the employer’s contribution with your own voluntary contributions. Employers bear the bulk of the taxes for 450-euro minijobs. These include flat-rate contributions to health and pension insurance and statutory accident insurance. You can get more details here: https://www.minijob-zentrale.de/DE/00_home/node.html (in German)

Contract for work and service


Contract in which you are hired per hours to do a specific job. The amount of hours per week and shifts are negotiated with the hiring company. The company doesn’t have to pay insurance (except accident insurance) because you are considered self-employed.

Student work


As a student you can be freed from some social security contributions and thus save money, as long as the study has priority over the job. Under some conditions you are considered a so called working student.

  • If, as a student, you have long term employment for which you do not earn more than 450€ per month, the so called mini-job rule applies: (see above). In this case the family insurance scheme through the parents continues.
  • If your monthly income doesn’t exceed 425€ per month you can also remain in the family insurance scheme. The health insurance company advises on the individual case.
  • The student regulation applies only to students who do not work more than 20 hours a week during the lecture period.
  • Usually, if you regularly earn more than 450 Euro per month in your job, you will need an income tax number and certain deductions will be made automatically from your salary. As a student however, you can get back your paid income tax with your tax return form as long as your work allowance is below the annual basic amount (2017: 8.820€).
  • Working during term holidays (“lecture-free time”): Jobs taken on during the term holidays are subject to income tax but normally students get back the taxes they have paid at the end of the year via the income tax return. If the job is carried out only during lecture-free time students do not have to pay any additional health insurance contributions, even if they work more than 20 hours a week. During term holidays the obligation to pay contributions towards the state pension may not be applicable, if the employment is limited to a maximum of 2 months or 50 working days per year.Sometimes students are offered work on a freelance basis. If you work self-employed you don’t need an income tax card. In this case your employer or contractor will ask you to submit an invoice, or you agree on a contract for services.
    The income you earn in this manner is not taxed for the time being self-employed, but at the end of the year you must declare the income to the tax authorities on your income tax return. International students who are not from the EU or EEA are not allowed to work self-employed.

seasonal workers


Workers who come to Germany to perform fixed term jobs in selected sectors (agriculture, tourism), usually at certain periods of the year. If you are coming to do seasonal work in Germany you need to apply for employment permit. To carry out seasonal work in Germany, you must obtain a visa to enter Germany.
Once in Germany, you must obtain a residence permit allowing for seasonal work.
A bilateral agreement must have been concluded between the German Public Employment Service and employment agencies in your country of origin.
Seasonal work means work for a minimum of 30 hours per week (six hours a day) and for a maximum of six months per calendar year in the following areas:

•the agricultural sector

•hotel and restaurant business

•in fruit and vegetable processing

•in sawmills.

Seasonal work may also involve persons working in fairs for not more than nine months per calendar year. There are no restrictions for citizens of the EU with respect to residence and work permits in Germany (freedom of residence inside the EU). However, you must apply for a residence permit for formal reasons. Seasonal workers are allowed to work for three months per year in agriculture, forestry, in the hotel and catering industry, in the vegetable and fruit industry and in sawmills.


Agentur für Arbeit München (Employment Agency), Kapuzinerstraße 26, 80337 München,
T +49 (0)8004 555500 (Employees),
T + 49 (0)8004 555520 (Employers)