Praktikum (Internship)

"Werkstudenten" Working Student

  • A currently enrolled student at a higher education institution who has taken up employment that does not put the students studies in jeopardy, does not have to pay any additional insurance fees as an employee (unemployment, health, and nursing care insurances) - independent from the amount of income- as they fall under the classification of a working student. 
    Although the contribution to the pension insurance is required. 

"Werkstudent" is when:

  • no more than 20 hours a week is worked during the lecture period. during the lecture free period, employment, without insurance consequences, can be agreed upon for an amount that exceeds 20 hours a week.
    • employment exceeds 20 hours a week during evening/night/weekend shifts.  This is only possible when the students does not work more than 20 hours for more than 26 weeks out of the year.
    • more than 20 hours a week is worked with a limited contract for no longer than three months.
  • An exemption from the contributions for Social Security as an employee (in health, nursing, and unemployment) exists when the income does not exceed EUR 450 per month. (Low-income employment)

This also applies to employment for only three months or 70 working days within the calendar year that does not exceed the EUR 450.00 limit (Short-term employment).

  • The employer pays a set rate for both health and pension insurances.  But since 2013 only the contribution for the pension insurance is obligatory.  The employer pays a set rate (15%) for the pension insurance and the employee pays the difference from 3,6% of the full fee contribution (18,6%).  The student can be exempt from this insurance obligation as an employee.  One should think about doing this beforehand! Because even with small insurance contributions, you can acquire the rights for the pension insurance.

Social Security during Internship

  • Mandatory internship while studying (Zwischenpraktikum)
    Trainees/interns are exempt from Social Security Insurances as an employee during their mandatory internship.

    The duration, hours per week, and the amount of income are independent.
    Health insurance for students remains the same.

    Attention: The income limit when receiving the Family Insurance is EUR 450. If this is exceeded, no entitlement to the free-of-charge-Family Insurance exists anymore.
  • Mandatory internship before or after ones studies
    The student has an obligation to pay the contributions for Social Security Insurances for internships before or after ones studies.  The internship is seen as vocational training.  The contribution for trainees/interns coincides with the amount for the student health insurance.  Family Insurance has priority.

    If income is earned, the student has an obligation to pay the Social Security Insurances contributions for health, nursing care, unemployment, and pension insurances.  Pension and unemployment insurance contributions are to be paid by the employer for an income up to EUR 325.  If this amount is exceeded, half will be paid from the employer and half by the trainee/intern.
  • Non-mandatory internships while studying (Zwischenpraktikum)
    Enrolled trainees/interns not receiving pay can be exempt from the insurance contribution as an employee.

    Students have an obligation to pay the insurance contributions as an employee for non-mandatory internships with payment. The same rules and regulations apply as for low-income employment. Also see "Jobben" while studying.
  • Non-mandatory pre or post-study internships
    Students can receive an exemption from the Social Security Insurances contribution for non-mandatory pre or post-study internships without income.

    The trainee/intern is obligated to pay the contributions for the Social Security Insurances if they receive pay.  The regulations apply for low-income-marginal employment for any exemptions from the insurance contributions.
  • The non-enrolled-pre-or-post-study trainees/interns have the right to choose either the public or private health insurance.

Social Security Insurance for Dual Degree Program

  • Students pursuing a dual degree program are considered employees according to the "Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB) V, VI, and III" and are obligated to contribute to the health, nursing care, pension and unemployment insurances.

    The regulations state that those pursuing a dual degree program in all forms (praxis-oriented, training-integrated, or work-based) during the whole duration of their studies are obligated to pay the contributions to the Social Security Insurances.

    Therefore the dual studies programs coincide with the typical process of employment between the theoretical coursework at the higher education institution and the practical phases in the professional development.  These circumstances are the reason that the student is to be treated, with respect to social security, as employees as one would typically find.