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May 2021: 5 changes affecting expats in Germany

May 2021: 5 changes affecting expats in Germany

May 2021: 5 changes affecting expats in Germany

From another Kinderbonus payout time, to new laws for protecting children online, there’s plenty of change afoot in Germany as April becomes May. Here are five changes expats in Germany should know about. 

1. Another child bonus payment in May

Germany is once again paying a one-off bonus to parents (or perhaps we should say third-off, since this is Kinderbonus number three, following the two that were paid out in September and October last year). The government wants to help support families through the coronavirus crisis and boost consumption. 

150 euros will be paid out for each child who is eligible for child benefit in 2021. It will not be offset against other social security benefits and parents do not have to apply for it separately.  

2. Better protection for children using the internet

In order to protect children and young people from cyberbullying and sexual harassment on the internet, an amendment to the Youth Protection Act will come into force on May 1. Among other things, the law stipulates that platforms which offer games and films must have simple reporting and complaint procedures if young users feel threatened or harassed by strangers. 

In future, uniform age ratings for online content will also be required. 

3. Higher minimum wage for painters and varnishers

From May 1, painters and varnishers working in Germany can look forward to higher wages. Unskilled workers in these fields will see their minimum wage increase to 11,40 euros per hour. For skilled workers the minimum wage goes up to 13,80 euros per hour. The new wage will apply until May 31, 2022. 

4. New WhatsApp conditions

After being postponed at the beginning of the year, WhatsApp will finally introduce its new terms and conditions on May 15. In a nutshell, the update changes the way the app shares data with its parent company, Facebook. This is specifically related to an expansion of WhatsApp’s shopping features, whereby businesses can use the app to chat with potential customers on Facebook. 

While users in Europe and the UK have to agree to the changes to continue using the app on their mobile phones, Facebook has said that the data sharing update will not apply to them. If you don’t agree to the changes by May 15, you won’t be able to use your app: it will be set to inactive, meaning you can receive messages and calls, but not compose anything yourself. After 120 days, your account will be deleted. 

5. Netto partners with Too Good to Go to combat food waste

If you’re looking to cut food waste, while also saving a few pennies at the same time, then you’ll be happy to hear that the German discount supermarket chain Netto is partnering up with Too Good to Go, a food waste app

From May 3, 2021, users of the app will be able to purchase bags of food from Netto stores that would otherwise have been destined for the bin. The leftovers will include items from all areas of the supermarket, including dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables. You can reserve your bag for 3,90 euros via the app, and then pick it up from your local supermarket around 8 pm. 

Note that only Netto stores with the dog in the logo are participating in the scheme. They are based in Berlin, BrandenburgHamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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