From 16 August 2022, patients taking certain biological medicines will no longer receive the original medicine in the pharmacy, but a copycat product. These so-called biosimilars are cheaper for the health insurance funds than the original preparations/Photo: AfricanCourierMedia

Germany: New laws and other changes in August 2022

New month, new regulations! There are again changes in regulations and laws taking effect in August. Here’s an overview of what will change in the new month:

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More transparent working conditions
The EU directive on transparent and reliable working conditions comes into force on 1 August. This stipulates which information and documentation obligations employers must fulfil. According to the directive, newly hired workers must be given the essential terms of their contract in writing by the time they start work. These include the end date of the employment relationship, the employee’s free choice of place of work, if applicable, the duration of the probationary period, the composition and amount of the remuneration including the remuneration for overtime, the agreed working hours and agreed rest periods.

GmbHs and UGs can be registered online
GmbHs and UGs can also be registered online from 1 August, according to the Act on the Implementation of the Digitalisation Directive (DiRUG). Henceforth, the necessary appointment with the notary will no longer have to be made in person, but can be done online via video conference. The registration in the commercial register, which is necessary for the formation of a GmbH or an UG, can then also be carried out online with the notary. The online procedure offers an additional possibility besides the in-person procedure at the notary’s office, which still exists. A mixed form is also possible.

Bafög increase for students and trainees
Numerous relief measures will apply from 1 August for students, trainees and pupils who receive Bafög, which provides state funding for school pupils and students to pursue education and training. The maximum support rate for Bafög recipients will be raised from 861 euros to 934 euros. The so-called basic needs rate will increase by 5.75 per cent to 452 euros per month. The housing cost supplement for students who do not live in their parents’ house will increase by eleven per cent from 325 euros to 360 euros. In addition, Bafög recipients who do not live with their parents will receive a one-time heating allowance of 230 euros for the 2021/2022 heating period.

Cheaper biological medicinal products
From 16 August 2022, patients who are prescribed certain biological medicines, also known as biopharmaceuticals, will no longer receive the original medicine in the pharmacy, but an equally effective copycat product. These so-called biosimilars are cheaper for the health insurance funds than the original preparations. The copycat preparations of biopharmaceuticals are produced when the patent protection of original drugs expire. Biological medicines are used, for example, in the treatment of cancer and rheumatism as well as in hormone treatment to fulfil the desire to have children.

9-Euro-Ticket expires at the end of August
After three months, the 9-Euro-Ticket will expire at the end of August. It allows travel on public transport for nine euros per month throughout Germany. Whether there will be a successor offer at a similar price after August is still open. A 365-euro annual ticket is currently being considered as an alternative. The fuel discount, which makes fuel 35 cents per litre cheaper, will also be valid only until the end of the month. Both are part of the government’s relief packages to compensate citizens for the increased energy and fuel prices.

Femi Awoniyi

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