Thursday, 15 December 2011

Germany suggests Spain apply 'mini-job' concept to unemployment crisis

Typical mini-job
SPAIN If you haven't heard of 'mini-jobs' yet, you soon will. It is an employment concept that was established in Germany in 2003 to fight against unemployment and the 'underground economy', according to an article in El Mundo. It has also served to keep things going in the deepest darkness of the crisis. The ECB has suggested it could be applied to Spain, and the CEOE (Spain's CBI) has embraced the idea. It consists of low-wage contracts of a maximum of 15 hours per week. However, in Germany there is no minimum wage (in Spain it is called Salario Mínimo Interprofesional, set at €641.4 per month), and the typical mini-job gets paid some €400 a month - but the employee does not pay taxes and can pay in to the Social Security system on a voluntary basis. In the most-used mini-job in Germany,>>>
the employee adds 4.5% of the income to the 15% paid into the pension scheme by the employer, who also pays 2% to the tax man and 28% to Social Security and 13% for health insurance. The employer ends up paying about €120 to the State, or 30%.

Those working under this system -some 6.8 million workers at last count - have the right to paid holidays, maternity and illness leave, as well as reasonable and timely warnings about redundancy.

Those who have children, or qualify for other help, have the right to receive money that completes those other help lines, so it is not the State that pays out 10% of the employees maintenance. If the worker needs to travel, the state will pay half. 

The most popular use of the concept is in such jobs as delivery personnel, cleaners, child or elderly care people, painters, waiters working at peak times and the like. In any case these are jobs that do not require qualifications and are often taken up by students and the long-term unemployed. Most of them see the advantage of not being left out of the social system while continuing to pay into the pension schemes - but very few see it as a permanent job, rather as a 'bridging' contract towards another future occupation.

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