Helping refugees from Ukraine get access to the job market is futile and involves a lot of bureaucracy – so columnist Christian Drost-Klemp believed until recently. But then personal experience forced her to take a closer look at the legal requirements.
On a very cold, sunny Sunday morning, I went out with our dog in the countryside between Meissen and Dresden to start a great jog as usual. On the way – in the middle of an apple orchard – there was a car with a Ukrainian license plate that was packed to the brim. I approached cautiously and found a young woman, a teenage girl, and a younger boy. Suddenly I asked if they would like to have breakfast and if I could help. Soon the trust was established and we traveled together to our farm, where we live with 15 other families; So you have a lot of space. The currently empty apartment was quickly furnished, and the young woman said to me, “Can I work here?” A spontaneous reaction on my part was not possible, because I asked myself: what legal requirements should be taken into account for refugees from Ukraine in the context of employment?
What does the labor law say?
Each of us is aware that more and more refugees from Ukraine are coming to Germany every day, and we hope that those who can and want to work will find quick and unbureaucratic access to the labor market. So what are the important legal requirements that employers need to know and consider?
Is entry and temporary legal residence guaranteed in the short term?
Yes, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Fatherland has issued a decree temporarily exempting persons displaced from Ukraine from the requirement to obtain a residence permit in Germany. It entered into force on March 9, 2022 and is retroactive to February 24, 2022. The regulation is initially limited to May 23, 2022. According to the current situation, an application must be submitted to the responsible aliens authority during this period to grant a residence permit in accordance with Article 24 of the Residence Act.
Can I work in Germany with a temporary protection residence permit?
Yes, that would be possible. However, paid work must first be approved by the immigration authorities. When the residence permit is issued, the immigration authorities will enter into the residence permit in which gainful employment is permitted, even if there is no concrete employment relationship in the future. This means that no other work permit is required from another authority. Immigration authorities will issue so-called bogus certificates once the application is submitted. The Aliens Authority will also enter the “permitted employment” in the bogus certificate.
Refugees can be hired immediately
As a result, employers can hire refugees from Ukraine immediately if their residence permit is “allowed to work” according to Article 24 (1) of the Residence Act. This is the base of war refugees from Ukraine. The work permit is also granted with a temporary certificate, the so-called fictitious certificate, which shortens the time until the actual residence permit is issued. The refugees can then pursue any job in Germany or start an apprenticeship.
What about tax and social security law?
So much for the highly non-bureaucratic labor law requirements. And how is employment properly assessed in terms of tax and social security law? Do refugees from Ukraine receive a tax identification number automatically?
This is the current situation in which the TIN is associated with registration with the responsible municipality. This means that a tax identification number is automatically issued when you register your residence in Germany. Otherwise, the limited tax liability remains with a redirection to the responsible tax office, which then issues a tax identification number. Refugees from Ukraine should be treated as “ordinary” employees by the social security system and normal social security regulations should be applied.
And easier than I thought
So, just five days after we put the girl in my daughter’s class, the little boy was allowed to go to the neighbor’s kindergarten, and the younger woman would initially work three days a week in a flower shop friend of a farmer’s.
So, looking back, it wasn’t as complicated as I initially expected. Because with the authorities, the school and the kindergarten, we found out all the requirements and were even able to quickly fulfill them. It was clear to all of us that this is the only way we can manage a little everyday life – the rapid integration of kindergarten, school and work – and that the terrible trauma and endless pain can be relieved a little.
Christian Drost Klimp Works
At her own firm as a trainer, consultant, and project manager on all topics of payroll tax and social security law, she has been advising companies on the selection and implementation of strategic employee models for many years.