The Reichstag, housing the Bundestag, lower house of the federal parliament, in Berlin / Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Germany: New laws and other changes in August 2023

Like almost every month, August 2023 also brings some important changes for people living in Germany. In addition to new laws, there will be a number of changes will come into force. These include an increase in the minimum wage in the cash-in-transit industry, the introduction of an innovative apprenticeship and the deadline for filing the 2021 tax return.
Here are the major changes that will enter into effect in the new month:

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The minimum wage will rise in the cash-in-transit industry
On 1 August 2023, the minimum wage in the cash and valuables services (Geld- und Werttransport) sector will rise. Accordingly, salaries will increase by at least 3.25 per cent this year. Depending on the collective bargaining area and the federal state, a maximum of up to 4.7 per cent is possible.

2nd deadline for 2021 tax return expires
While people who had to file a tax return for 2021 and did it themselves have already filed it long ago, those helped by tax consultants were allowed to take more time.

However, the deadline for submission is approaching, even though it has been extended due to a pandemic-related change. Instead of 28 February 2023, the deadline is 31 August 2023. However, the deadline extension only applies if you have your 2021 tax return done by a tax advisor or income tax help association.

New update to improve Android smartphones
Google plans to release its new Android 14 operating system in August 2023. Users with compatible devices can therefore look forward to longer battery life. This is because the US company has made various adjustments to the management of background processes.

This should, for example, prevent apps from crashing in the background. In addition to the classic energy-saving mode, there will also be an extreme energy-saving mode.

New apprenticeship occupation
On 1 August 2023, there will be a new training occupation in Germany: “immersive media designer” (Gestalter für immersive Medien).

According to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), this is a three-year dual training programme that will be offered nationwide. The profession will become an apprenticeship from 1 August 2023, which is why there is a new law.

The curriculum of “immersive media designer” includes, among other things, “designing virtual worlds with immersive technologies, conceptualising and developing immersive media with authoring tools and in development environments”, creating prototypes, 3D animation, 3D audio, 3D modelling, working with authoring and development tools such as Unity and Unreal, streaming and project management.

Increased remuneration for this training occupation
From 1 August 2023, the training remuneration for apprentices in the painting and varnishing trade (Maler- und Lackiererhandwerk) will be adjusted. In the first year of training, the monthly remuneration will be raised to 770 euros, in the second year to 850 euros and in the third and final year to 1,015 euros.

Women’s World Cup on free TV
The 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand began on 20 July, but will run until 20 August. This changes the programme of the public broadcasters, because ARD & ZDF and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) were able to reach an agreement with the world governing body FIFA at the last minute to show all 64 matches on free TV.

No more fluorescent lamps
The compact fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes known as energy-saving lamps were the first energy-saving replacement for conventional light bulbs. However, they contain small amounts of mercury, which has not been allowed to be used in electrical or electronic equipment for over 15 years because it can be dangerous to both the environment and humans. As of 25 August, their sale will be banned in Germany. As an alternative, users can switch to LED lighting, among others.

Femi Awoniyi


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