For members


Everything that changes in Germany in September 2022

From the €300 payment for workers and new energy saving rules to the end of the €9 ticket, here's what's changing in Germany this September.

The clock on the tower of the Martin Luther Church in Schönhagen, Lower Saxony.
The clock on the tower of the Martin Luther Church in Schönhagen, Lower Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Swen Pförtner

One-off €300 payment to workers

In September, employees in Germany will receive a special payment to help with rising energy costs. The €300, which is subject to tax, is for people in employment and will be paid out in salaries by employers.

Some people may receive the payment in October so check with your boss if you have any questions. 

Self-employed people can deduct it from their advance tax payments from September or when they submit their tax return next year.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Germany’s €300 energy relief payout

Nationwide €9 ticket comes to an end

The €9 monthly travel ticket, which is valid on public transport across Germany – including regional trains – will be no more from September 1st. It was in place for three months from June until the end of August. 

There have been lots of discussions about a follow-up nationwide ticket, but nothing firm is in place at the moment. However, Berlin is planning to introduce a temporary, reduced-cost ticket.

Unfortunately, in many places it may cost more to use public transport. German press group DPA recently surveyed operators – and they said they were planning to increase the cost of their tariffs in the near future – or have already done so.


Bus driver Miriam Kara holds the €9 ticket in Hamburg.

Bus driver Miriam Kara holds the €9 ticket in Hamburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Markus Scholz

TIP: Ticket checkers may be out in force in the first days of September and many people could get caught out if they don’t buy a valid ticket. Make sure you travel with the right ticket, and let friends and family members know that the €9 offer is no longer in place. 

Fuel tax cut ends

The fuel tax discount aimed at providing relief to drivers expires at the end of August too. Prices for petrol and diesel are therefore likely to rise. The government had reduced the energy tax on fuels in June, July and August.

Pharmacies have to accept e-prescriptions

From September 1st, pharmacies throughout Germany will be required to accept digital prescriptions – known as e-prescriptions. This is also being phased in regionally to doctors.

The aim is for paper prescriptions to be consigned to the past, and patients will receive a QR code on their smartphones instead. Those who do not have the app or a smartphone will receive the code printed out on a piece of paper. The e-prescription only applies to those with statutory health insurance and not to those with private insurance.

READ ALSO: How Germany will roll out e-prescriptions this year

All schools return after summer ends

In Germany, the summer vacations are coming to an end in the last federal states. In Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, school starts again on September 5th. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg pupils and teachers go back a week later, on September 12th. This means that students everywhere across the country will be back in class, ready for the new school year. 

A pupil writes in English at a German school.

A pupil writes in English at a German school. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Marijan Murat

Politics ramps up again

Due to the energy crisis, politicians arguably haven’t had much of a break this summer. But political life ramps up again in September. A week of sessions in the Bundestag begins on September 6th, and as always, the budget for 2023 will be discussed.

For the government, however, the coming weeks will be about one thing in particular: the third energy relief package to help residents cope with sky-high energy bills. It is expected to be presented before the gas surcharge on consumers comes into force in October.

Regulation on energy saving comes into force

With the temperature set to cool down as we head into the tail end of summer, people may soon want to heat their homes and workplaces. But it’s going to be a tough winter in Germany due to the energy crisis. 

To save on gas and electricity, as well as try and reduce energy dependence on Russian energy, the German government is introducing energy-saving regulations.

From September 1st, the temperature in public buildings is not allowed to exceed 19C and there will be no hot water for hand-washing.

Landlords will also be required to encourage their tenants to save energy. Retailers will have to take certain measures such as closing doors during the heating season and turning off window lights at night. 

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s energy saving rules

Pay rise for care sector workers

Employees in the care sector will receive more money from September 1st. For skilled nursing staff, the minimum wage will increase from €15 to €17.10 per hour; for nursing staff with one or two years of training, the minimum wage will rise from the current €12.50 to €14.60; and for nursing staff without a formal training qualification, the minimum wage will increase from the current €12 to €13.70. Keep in mind that to cover these pay increases, employers could raise costs for people in care.

Oktoberfest returns

For the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020, there will be an Oktoberfest again in Munich. The huge festival is to be celebrated from September 17th to October 3rd. The 17 festival halls will offer space for around 120,000 guests. 

Revellers enjoy the Oktoberfest atmosphere  in September 2019.

Revellers enjoy the Oktoberfest atmosphere in September 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Get ready for these German TV shows to return

After a summer break, some German TV favourites are returning. On September 4th, the drama Tatort (Crime Scene) returns after 10 weeks without new cases. The first regular “Heute-show” (Today Show), the satirical news programme with Oliver Welke, comes back on September 9th. And the ARD Sunday talk show “Anne Will” returns on September 18th.

READ ALSO: What do Germans like to watch on TV?

Cost of Amazon Prime goes up

Amazon Prime is getting more expensive. From September 15th, the Prime membership fee will increase from €7.99 to €8.99 for monthly payments and from €69 to €89.90 for annual payments. Prime is a paid membership and the subscription includes premium shipping and access to Prime Video.

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For members


Everything that changes in Germany in April 2023

From the €49 ticket pre-sale to higher tax allowances for employees and single parents, here's everything that's set to change in Germany in the coming month.

Everything that changes in Germany in April 2023

End of the (last few) Covid rules

“Rules – what rules?” is likely to be the question on everybody’s lips when the Infection Protection Act quietly expires on April 7th – and it’s true that, unless you work in a clinic or care home, the end of this bill probably won’t change much in your day-to-day life. With the end of masks on public transport in large swathes of Germany back in February, Germany toppled one of the last few Covid rules it had – and since then people have generally only needed an FFP2 mask for the odd doctor visit.

That said, the end of the bill is pretty significant in another way. It signals the end of a three-year pandemic that shook the world and the official recognition that a virus that was once so deadly has now become endemic. Just like the winter flu and common cold, Covid is here to stay, but nobody will be feeling too sentimental about leaving the days of lockdowns, tests, and vaccine passes behind us. 

No more sick notes by telephone

On March 31st, special regulations allowing people to get a sick note from their doctor over the phone will expire. This was initially intended to avoid unnecessary Covid infections but, given the much less risky situation at present, officials don’t think there’s a need for it anymore.

However, there could still be a way to avoid lengthy stays in the doctor’s waiting room in future. If your GP offers the service, you can always get your sick note (or Krankschreibung) after a video appointment instead – provided your illness doesn’t require a physical inspection. 

Higher tax allowances

In the days of grim financial news, there’s a bit of light on the horizon for taxpayers as higher tax-free allowances for both employees and single parents will apply from April. 

Starting next month, the so-called Arbeitnehmerpauschale (employee lump sum) will be hiked up to €1,230 per year. This is the amount of expenses the tax office assumes you’ll have in relation to your work and deducts from your taxable salary (without needing proof) each year.

The tax-free allowance for single parents will also be increased to at least €4,260 (plus €240 for additional children), meaning single mums and dads get to keep a little bit more of their salaries. 

If you’re feeling a slight sense of deja vu, it may be because both of these tax-free amounts actually went up at the start of this year, but April marks the first month they will be factored into your payslips. So if you see a little bit extra in your bank account next month, that could be why. 


Deutschlandticket goes on sale

It was meant to be hitting the ticket offices back in January, but as the saying goes: better late than never. 

From April 3rd, the official pre-sale of the €49 ticket will kick off, allowing early birds to set up their Abo via Deutsche Bahn ahead of the launch of the ticket in May.

Of course, some states have been much quicker off the mark than Germany’s rail operator, so if you live in Frankfurt or Berlin, for instance, you may have already got your subscription sorted. 

It’s worth noting that some states are working on further concessions for students or pensioners, while some people may be able to get the ticket cheaper via their work, so be sure to check with your employer first to see if you’re entitled to a ‘Jobticket’. 

READ ALSO: State by state: Who will get a discount on Germany’s €49 transport ticket?

?An S-Bahn train in Cologne.

An S-Bahn train in Cologne. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

Microsoft hikes its prices

First it was gas, then it was groceries, then it was beer – and now even software products are going up in price. 

Starting in April, tech giant Microsoft has announced price rises across its cloud products, which include Microsoft 365, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 as well as Microsoft Defender and Teams. The price hikes will depend on the product, but some customers could see their subscription go up by as much as 20 percent.

To justify the move, the company pointed to changes in the value of global currencies and said it wanted to make its pricing more consistent for customers around the world. This is also something they’ll look at twice a year going forward – so brace yourself for even more price hikes six months down the line. 

Gay men are allowed to give blood

A rule that banned homosexual men from donating blood will be scrapped in April. From then on, anyone will be allowed to give blood regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, or whether they are cis or trans.

What will continue to remain the case is that people who regularly change their sexual partner – or have multiple sexual partners – will not be permitted to give blood. This is determined via a questionnaire that potential donors fill out beforehand. 

Painters, builders and agency workers get a pay rise 

Life is getting more expensive in Germany, but some workers are also set to get a healthy boost to their wage packets from April.

Under a collective agreement that was signed back in January, painters and varnishers got their basic hourly wage hiked to €18.39 in the western states and Berlin and €17.86 in the eastern states. 

Workers a little lower down the pecking order are now due a pay rise as well, as the industry-specific minimum wage for helpers will rise to €12.50 per hour and the second minimum wage will increase to €14.50.

Painter and decorator

A painter and decorator at work. Low-paid workers in this sector are set to get a pay rise in April. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Kirsten Neumann

As well as painters and varnishers, construction workers can also look forward to more money from April 1st. Wages in western Germany will be increased by two percent and in eastern Germany by 2.7 percent, and workers will be given a bonus of €1,000 to compensate for inflation.

The collective agreement also stipulates that workers will receive compensation for travelling to construction sites. These are paid as lump sums and are based on the number of kilometres.

Temp or agency workers will also be taking home a little bit extra next month as the minimum wage in their sector increases to €13 per hour. 

New questions on driving tests

Thinking of biting the bullet and getting a German driving licence? Then make sure you have an up-to-date practice test, as 44 new questions are set to be added to the theory test from April. 

Of these new questions, 23 will only apply to Class B licences – the type that most drivers need in order to get behind the wheel. 

If you’re using one of the popular apps to prepare for your test, you’ll need to ensure this is fully up to date by the time you sit down for the exam. 

READ ALSO: How to get a German driver’s licence as a third-country national

Lights go back on in towns and cities

The clocks are going forward this week, and the evenings are set to get lighter in more ways than one. As well as a precious extra hour of sunshine late in the day, towns and cities will once again be permitted to illuminate their statues, fountains, building sites and public buildings at night. 

Cyclist in Saarbrücken

A cyclist rides past the fountain on St. Johanner Markt in Saarbrücken. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Dietze

That’s because the emergency energy saving measures introduced last September are due to expire on April 15th – provided they’re not extended. This legislation was initially brought in following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a time when Germany was struggling to reduce its energy usage and its dependence on Russian gas. But with winter behind us and the gas storage facilities still relatively full, this summer will likely see a much more relaxed approach to energy usage.

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s energy saving rules

Nuclear power plants to close

Just as Germany looks set to loosen up its energy-saving rules, the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants –  will be powered down for (potentially) the last time. 

As part of the government’s transition away from nuclear power and coal, these three plants – Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland – were originally set to be shut down at the end of 2022. However, due the war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis, the government kept them in operation – but the Federal Office for Nuclear Waste has announced that these will close in the middle of April.