Job centre goes to court over 15 cents

Job centre goes to court over 15 cents
Photo: DPA
A central German job centre has gone to court for a second time over the paltry sum of 15 cents, after refusing to round up to a full euro payments to a man on unemployment benefits.

A man on unemployment benefits, known as Hartz IV, asked the job centre in Erfurt, Thuringia to round up his payment to the next full euro so that he could avoid the awkward sum ending in 85 cents, said Der Spiegel on Monday.

But when the job centre flatly refused the man the extra 15 cents, he took the matter to a small claims court and won, wrote the magazine.

Until the last Hartz IV reform in 2011, job centres were required to pay out only full euro amounts to unemployed people. Amounts with remainders under 49 cents were rounded down, while amounts with remainders of 50 cents and above were rounded up.

But for the past two years, job centres have been paying out exact amounts, according to the article.

When called in to decide on the matter last month, the social welfare court in Thuringia upheld the old rules and ordered the job centre to round up all Hartz IV payments with a remainder of more than 50 cents.

Since the legal situation was so clear, said the court, the job centre should pay €600 towards the man’s legal costs.

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The court also refused the job centre the right to appeal the decision, but it has not given up.

The job centre has now taken the matter to the national level and has submitted a complaint with the Federal Social Court in Kassel, which will now decide whether the job centre should be allowed to appeal.

The Local/jlb

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