Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Handwerk also demands short-time work for mini-jobbers

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Berlin Many mini jobbers are satisfied with their employment. They usually do not pay taxes and duties, so the gross and net earnings are also. And often the marginal employment serves to improve the overall household income.

But in the corona crisis, mini-jobbers are among the greatest victims. Because they do not pay into unemployment insurance, they are not entitled to short-time or unemployment benefits financed by contributions. It quickly becomes a matter of existence.

Of the approximately 700,000 employees in the building cleaning trade, around 250,000 are mini-jobbers. Many usually work a few hours a day, morning and evening, when there is nothing going on in schools, offices, or factories. But in the corona crisis there is often nothing left to do because companies and public institutions are closed.

“The employees are still on the payroll, but many customers are no longer cleaning,” says Johannes Bungart, managing director of the Federal Guild of Building Services Providers.

He finds it unfair that there are no government aid programs for mini-jobbers so far. Solo self-employed received a one-off payment of up to 9,000 euros for three months. That is almost double the annual salary for mini-jobbers who can earn up to 450 euros a month.

Help from politics

But marginally employed people did not get help, Bungart criticizes: “Politics should also help those who need it most.” Many mini-jobbers are dependent on additional earnings, especially now that the partner may still be on short-time work.

The President of the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH), Hans Peter Wollseifer, is also campaigning for crisis aids for mini-jobbers: The regulations on short-time work should “also be used in full for marginally employed and trainees,” he demands.

At the end of last year, a total of just under 6.7 million mini jobbers were registered with the mini job center in the commercial sector, of which almost 60 percent were women. They were spread across a good 1.8 million employers.

While the number of employees who only have a mini job has decreased in recent years, the number of marginal employment as a secondary job has increased.

Industry transformation

The unions – like the building cleaning trade – are committed to converting all mini-jobs into employment subject to social security contributions. Now in the corona crisis, the two-tier society is taking a really bitter revenge on the job market, says Annelie Buntenbach, board member of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). “For thousands of mini-jobbers and their families, the corona crisis is becoming an existential question because they are excluded from the unemployment insurance solidarity system.”

For mini-jobbers who have to look after their children because of closed daycare centers and schools and therefore cannot work, there is compensation for 67% of the net loss of earnings for a maximum of six weeks according to the Infection Protection Act. “That is not enough for most people in the back and front,” says Buntenbach. The unions are demanding an increase to 80 percent.

The DGB also calls for an adjustment of the Hartz IV benefits as an emergency crisis program, for example as a temporary surcharge on the standard rate. If mini-jobbers lose their jobs because of the corona shutdown, the state basic security is the last safety net if the vital income is not secured by another job or the partner.

More: The corona pandemic has had our everyday work under control for a month. Eight examples of how differently managers and employees deal with the crisis – and what experts advise them to do.

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