Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure DE-2020-13/404 – Updated – measures in Germany
|Country||Germany , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 23 March 2020 – 31 December 2022|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
|Author||Sandra Vogel (IW)|
|Measure added||09 April 2020 (updated 27 February 2023)|
The German Federal Government decided to ease up rules for basic income support for solo-self employed persons. Usually, basic income support is only available for persons in need looking for work. As many orders and engagements of solo self-employed persons were cancelled, the basic income scheme was opened for new target groups, such as solo self-employed persons temporarily out of orders/work. This measure is part of a broader rescue package adopted by the government at the end of March 2020, in order to help out German business, freelancers and micro entrepreneurs. The whole package consists of reducing tax burdens, easier access to loans, start-up support, lowering companies personnel costs by improved short-time working scheme and other financial help for solo- or micro entrepreneurs.
The German Federal Government eased rules for basic income support, in order to help solo self-employed persons to get through the crisis. As it is hard to find new work for solo self-employed and free lancers and many of their jobs are cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government opened up the basic income scheme. The new scheme also includes groups that are not truly looking for a new job, but are only temporarily out of business, such as solo self-employed. Applicants for basic income support working as solo self-employed will not have to make any statements on their financial assets and will also not have to tap these assets within the next six months, before being granted basic income support. With the basic income support, they should be able to pay rent or finance their housing. The new rules also provide that application will be provisionally approved and the usual means-testing will be conducted later. In this way, the government hopes to facilitate easier and faster access to these grants.
No information to date. The Federal Employment Agency provides data on basic income support. However, this data cannot be broken down to identify solo self-employed persons receiving grants from the new scheme.
One person or microenterprises
|Does not apply to citizens|
Public employment service
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
German social partners (employer and union representatives as well as public body representatives) sit on the board of the Federal Employment Agency that manages the funds of the basic income support scheme. Board members decide on the strategic goals of the Federal Agency, its budget and are also responsible for issuing orders.
The Confederation of German Employers' Association (BDA) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) jointly welcomed the crisis package adopted by the Federal Government in spring 2020.
Eurofound (2020), Basic income support for solo self-employed, measure DE-2020-13/404 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2020-13_404.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.