Low wages: mini-jobs: precarious and female

Low wages: mini-jobs: precarious and female

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) does not want to change the precarious situation of mini-jobbers for the time being:

Photo: dpa/Patrick Pleul

The number of marginally employed people was almost 7.6 million in spring 2023 and has therefore been at a consistently high level for years. This emerges from a response from the federal government to a small query from the Left Party. This demands one Reduction of precarious mini-jobsbecause the low wages and the lack of social security have negative effects on the majority of female employees.

This is also shown by a current study by the Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research (IAB), a research institute of the Federal Employment Agency. Accordingly, mini-jobbers are less likely than colleagues in jobs subject to social security contributions to have a written employment contract and are more likely to not have a fixed working time.

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In addition, social security is significantly worse. Marginally employed are not entitled to unemployment benefits, short-time working benefits or independent health insurance. Due to low wages, pension rights are only acquired to a limited extent. Employees cannot earn more than 520 euros per month; On average, earnings are only 348 euros. Mini-jobbers are therefore particularly at risk of poverty in old age. And although it is possible to switch from a mini-job to regular employment, the chances of this happening are slim, according to the IAB.

The employment histories of marginally employed people, especially women, are being devalued, criticizes the Bundestag member of the Left, Susanne Ferschl, who made the small request to the federal government on behalf of her parliamentary group. Of the almost 7.6 million mini-jobbers in Germany, around 60 percent are female, according to government figures.

The IAB also believes that this is due to the fact that there are incentives for women to take up mini-jobs or part-time work. Among other things, due to better developed state childcare In the East, these incentives are lower there than in the West.

According to Ferschl, the high number of mini-jobbers contributes to dependence on state transfer payments or partners. The politician is also calling for an end to mini-jobs and wants them to be converted into employment relationships subject to social security contributions.

»Talking about good wages and labor market opportunities for women in Sunday speeches is not enough. Because in reality it looks different,” criticized Ferschl. »I find it absurd that the SPD and the Greens in the Bundestag share our criticism, but allow yellow stop signs to be put in front of them at traffic lights. Mini-jobs must finally be curbed,” she emphasized in response to nd’s request.

Ferschl receives support for this from, among others, the authors of the IAB study, who also support a reduction in part-time employment in Germany. But there are currently indications that mini-jobs are increasingly displacing jobs subject to social security contributions, according to the study.

The federal government, however, interprets the results of the study differently and points out that the question of whether mini-jobs are displacing regular positions cannot be answered conclusively. In response to a request from nd, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Labor said that developments were being followed closely. However, there are currently no plans to reform the mini-job regulations. “Mini jobs offer many employees the opportunity to earn additional income in an uncomplicated manner, and for many employers they represent a flexible workforce,” the ministry said.

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