Home » Changes in March 2024: parental allowance, lobby register, more efficient household appliances

Changes in March 2024: parental allowance, lobby register, more efficient household appliances

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Changes in March 2024: parental allowance, lobby register, more efficient household appliances

From March, improved KfW conditions will apply to some home buyers. In addition, a legal reform should make it easier for immigrants to start their careers. The income limit for parental allowance is falling and the lobby register is getting stricter rules. All changes at a glance:

Easier career start for immigrants

For people from non-EU countries, access to the labor market is guaranteed by the Reform of the so-called skilled worker immigration law be facilitated. For example, from March onwards, people from third countries will be able to travel more easily to employers in Germany.

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The prerequisite is a state-recognized professional qualification after at least two years of training and three years of professional experience. Formal recognition of professional qualifications is therefore no longer necessary. Access to the German labor market will be made even easier for skilled workers in the areas of IT and information technology: they can now start a job after just two years of professional experience.

There are also changes in the employment of students from third countries. For them, among other things, the upper limit of working hours will be raised from 120 to 140 working days. Regulated professions, such as those in the health sector, are excluded.

With the reform, Germany is leading further Changes as part of the EU-wide so-called Blue Card. The card is a residence permit for third-country nationals with special professional qualifications. Together with the Skilled Immigration Act, it regulates immigration from third countries to the EU.

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More efficient household appliances

From March onwards, stricter efficiency requirements will apply to refrigerators, washing machines and tumble dryers in private households, meaning they must use less energy. In order to check this, refrigerators will in future have to display the annual power consumption, and washing machines and dryers will have to display the power consumption for 100 cycles.

Even if the energy label itself and the evaluation of the efficiency classes do not change for the time being, the energy advice from the consumer advice center recommends buying household appliances with the best energy efficiency. This decision can pay off in the long term, as potentially higher acquisition costs can be offset by lower electricity costs during operation.

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Improved KfW conditions

For From March onwards, house buyers will have better conditions in the “Home Ownership for Families” program run by the state-run Loan Agency for Reconstruction (KfW): the interest rate fixation period will be increased from the current maximum of ten to 20 years. This means long-term planning security and stable interest rates for parents with underage children. The funding applies to families with an annual income of up to 90,000 euros. An additional 10,000 euros is added for each additional child.

The program promotes the construction and purchase of climate-friendly residential buildings and condominiums that meet the EH40 efficiency house standard. Apartments that are heated with fossil fuels are excluded from funding.

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Income limit for parental allowance falls

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Anyone who earns more than 200,000 euros a year as a couple or as a single parent and gives birth to a child from April 1st will not receive any Parental allowance more. For births up to this date, the previous income limit of 300,000 euros for couples and 250,000 euros for single parents remains the same.

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Amendment to the Lobby Register Act

Already last year he had Bundestag one Reform of the lobby register law decided – it will become legally binding on March 1st. In the future, contacts from lobbyists to ministries from department head level will also be included in the register. In addition, lobbyists must indicate which specific legislative proposals they want to influence. They also have to upload the key points of their demands to the lobby register.

The previous option to refuse to provide information on financing will be deleted. From March, lobbyists will also have to declare if they do not represent the interests of their actual client, but rather those of a third party. If elected officials become lobbyists, they must disclose current and previous positions and mandates.

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The anti-corruption organization Transparency Germany welcomed the new regulations as “many small steps forward”. At the same time, however, the organization criticized the existing exception rules for employer associations, unions and churches as well as the waiver of the position of a lobby representative as an independent supervisory authority.

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With material from the news agencies dpa and AFP

In an earlier version of the article, the information on the income limit for parental allowance was incorrect; we have corrected it.

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From March, improved KfW conditions will apply to some home buyers. In addition, a legal reform should make it easier for immigrants to start their careers. The income limit for parental allowance is falling and the lobby register is getting stricter rules. All changes at a glance:

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