Day-to-day support

Your new employees not only need your support in their everyday work. Additionally, you can make it easier for foreign workers to start life in Germany by providing practical assistance with moving, getting settled in and administrative formalities. We have compiled a list of areas where support will be of the greatest use.

Finding accommodation

Finding accomodation © istockphoto / monkeybusinessimages

If your foreign recruit has still not found any permanent accommodation, it is a good idea to give them the contact details of local estate agents. A written, personal recommendation can also open doors for your new recruit in the search for accommodation or when carrying out administrative formalities. Inform your new recruit about what documents are required (identity papers, salary slips or work contract, possibly a Schufa record) and German rental and tenancy law. You could even accompany your new employee when visiting accommodation. If need be, make use of a relocation service provider who will help the new recruit during the move and the integration period.

Your new recruit will find useful information about finding accommodation in our guide entitled “Living in Germany".

Support for administrative and legal formalities

Support for administrative and legal formalities © fotolia / kamasigns

Registration of residence, pension and health insurance –these are all matters for which immigrants need to make a variety of administrative visits in Germany. In addition, qualified professionals from non-EU countries must apply for a residence permit within three months. If your new recruit does not yet have sufficient German skills, it makes all the more sense to provide active support for these administrative and legal matters.


Recognition of qualifications

If you have recruited qualified professionals for the healthcare sector, they will generally need to have their vocational qualifications recognised. Helping your new recruit to do so is another aspect of a welcoming culture. Under the new Recognition Act, qualified professionals from abroad are legally entitled to apply for recognition of their vocational qualification at any time. Supply your recruit with information about the recognition procedure: the respective authority, contacts and costs. You can find out more in the “Acknowledgement and recognition of qualifications” section.

The “Unternehmen Berufsanerkennung” project team provides further support tools for the recognition procedure.


The German social security system

Note that foreign qualified professionals who live and work in Germany have the same rights and obligations as German employees under social security legislation. Make sure that you apply for a replacement certificate from the tax office in plenty of time. The social security obligations do not apply solely if the employee is coming to Germany on deployment.

Tax and social security: In most cases, foreign employees will have to pay income tax in Germany. You must inform your new recruit of this. Explain to your new recruit what taxes and social security contributions will be withheld from their gross salary. That will help them understand the differences between gross and net salary.

Compulsory insurance: Inform your new recruit in plenty of time about the five compulsory types of insurance: health insurance, Long-term care insurance, pension insurance, accident insurance and unemployment insurance. One important decision is which health insurance fund to join. Also make sure that you register your new recruit with social security to ensure that they receive a Social security card promptly and, consequently, that a pension account will be opened for them. You will find more information on this in the guide entitled “Living in Germany”.

Statutory pension: Bring the attention of your foreign employee to the fact that if they move back to their home country, they can take any pension rights from their statutory pension insurance with them. You will find information about this in the guide entitled “Working in Germany”.


Childcare © istockphoto / vgajic

If the children of your new recruit are coming to Germany with them, you can help them to get used to living here too. For example, you can provide information about how the German education system works. Don’t forget that the way the preschool system works can differ widely depending on where you live. Your new recruits can also find out about the school system and preschools in Germany from the guide entitled “Living in Germany".

Your new recruit may not be used to the idea of children being looked after in daycare facilities and preschools. As an employer, you can advise them on local childcare, provide contact details for possible facilities and help them apply for places in daycare centres and preschools.

When you register a child for a preschool or daycare centre, there will usually be a waiting period. If this is the case, an in-home daycare provider might be an alternative. Arrange appointments with in-home daycare providers. Perhaps as an employer you can cover some of the costs of childcare. That will make you a more attractive employer. You can find out more about daycare for children on the website of the Bundesverbandes für Kindertagespflege (Federal Association of In-home Daycare for Children).

Tip: To help your new recruit get integrated, make use of the regional corporate and professional networks.

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