Germany: New laws, regulations and other changes in November 2022

Like every month, November 2022 brings some important changes for people living in Germany. Here’s an overview of what the new month brings


Sales tax on gas reduced

Rising energy prices have already become a major burden for many citizens. For this reason, the federal government is temporarily reducing the VAT rate on the supply of gas. This will also apply to district heating, the sourced of heating for many rented flats. The Bundestag and Bundesrat have approved the corresponding bill.

With the “Act on the Temporary Reduction of the VAT Rate on Gas Deliveries via the Natural Gas Network”, the VAT rate on gas deliveries will be reduced from 19 to 7 percent retroactively from 1 October 2022 until the end of March 2024. This measure is part of the third relief package to lessen the burden of rising energy prices on citizens.

Deadline to change car insurance

Vehicle owners should compare their current car insurance policy with new offers this month. In some cases, you can save more than a thousand euros by simply changing your insurance company, according to Stiftung Warentest.
So, keep 30 November in mind: You have until that date to give notice to your current insurer if you would like to change to a cheaper insurance provider.

Toilette use on the expressway to be more expensive

If you want to use the toilet at a motorway service station, you currently pay 70 cents if the toilet operator is Sanifair. From 18 November 2022, the costs will increase to one euro. In return, consumers receive a value voucher, which they can redeem in full at the service station. Only one voucher can be redeemed per item purchased.

Several bargain days for shoppers

In view of the ever-increasing cost of living, many consumers are likely to increasingly look for bargains this year. November offers several opportunities for bargain hunting.

On “Singles Day” on 11 November, “Black Friday” on 25 November and “Cyber Monday” on 28 November, online shops and normal retailers will once again be tempting customers with discount campaigns. Some shops even announce an entire “Black Friday” week starting on 21 November. But beware: not everything that is advertised as a great bargain actually is; do some comparisons with google.

Deadline to exchange Ukrainian currencies in Germany

Refugees from Ukraine in Germany can exchange hryvnia banknotes for euros free of charge until 18 November. This is the agreement between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the German Bundesbank and the National Bank of Ukraine.

The participating banks accept 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 hryvnia notes up to a maximum amount of 10,000 hryvnia. 100 hryvnias currently correspond to about 2.80 euros.

End of free Corona quick tests and telephone sick leave

Two changes relating to the Covid-19 protection measures will occur in November 2022. Firstly, telephone sick leave for minor respiratory illnesses is only possible until the end of November. It was reintroduced at the beginning of August with the aim of avoiding full waiting rooms and the emergence of new chains of infection.

Free corona rapid tests for certain groups of people or tests for 3 euros could also become a thing of the past after 25 November 2022. The corresponding coronavirus testing regulation will then expire.

However, public health experts assume that both measures may be extended in order to detect or limit chains of infection.

Financial support for carers of people with disabilities

Another change in November 2022 concerns persons who accompany people with disabilities when they are being treated in hospital. In the course of the new Hospital Accompaniment Guideline of the Federal Joint Committee, accompanying persons will now receive sick benefit in case of loss of earnings if they support people with disabilities during an inpatient hospital stay. However, the hospital must certify the medical necessity for the accompaniment.

Femi Awoniyi

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