Increase in time limits for short-term employment and other reforms

The time limits for short-term employment will be temporarily raised in 2021. This was decided by the Bundestag and approved by the Bundesrat on 07.05.2021.

Short-term employment is characterised by the fact that it is not carried out on a professional basis and is limited to a maximum of three months or 70 working days within one year. The employment is deemed to be of a professional nature if it is of more than minor economic importance for the employee.

The time limit was already raised to five months or 115 working days between March and October 2020.

An increase is now also planned for 2021. The time limits will be raised from currently three months or 70 working days to four months or 102 working days for the period from 01.03.2021 to 31.10.2021.



For reasons of protection, the extension of the time limits will not apply to employment relationships that were started before this regulation came into force. Until then, such employment must only be reported as short-term if the employment is limited to a maximum of three months or 70 working days in a calendar year and is not carried out on a professional basis with remuneration of more than 450 euros per month.


So far, employers do not know in all cases whether the short-term employee is already exercising or has exercised another short-term employment in the calendar year. It is therefore not always possible to assess whether the time limits have been observed. Therefore, in the future, the collection agency will notify the person obliged to register immediately after the registration of the short-term employee whether another short-term employment exists or has existed.

In order to ensure that short-term employees actually have other coverage in the event of illness, the employer will be obliged to report the type of health insurance coverage of the employee for these employees.

In future, when registering a short-term employee, the person obliged to register must state whether the employee has statutory or private health insurance.

Private health insurance also includes coverage in the form of group insurance (e.g. for seasonal workers) provided by the employer, which guarantees coverage for the period of short-term employment and for the necessary care in case of illness. Proof of health insurance coverage is part of the remuneration records to be kept by the employer.

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