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Everything that changes in Germany in March 2019

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Everything that changes in Germany in March 2019
Photo: DPA
17:03 CET+01:00
From new requirements on insurance to cutting back - quite literally - on what's allowed in your garden, there are some big changes in store as February becomes March on Friday.

More pension points for mothers

March 1st is an important date for mothers with children born before 1992. They will be allotted half of a pension point more per child, namely 2.5 instead of the previous two points.

Converted into cash figures: For every child born before 1992, mothers in the West receive €16.02 more per month, and €15.35 more in the East.

The increase in the maternal pension is part of the federal government's pension package worth billions - and also the most expensive. It will cost the government €3.8 billion per year.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things to know about retirement in Germany

Caught off Gard(en)

If you have a growing urge to bring your gardening scissors to that imposing hedge in your yard, we have some bad news. Between March 1st and September 30th, all hedge cutting is forbidden, according to the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

During this period no large cuts are allowed on “hedges, living fences, bushes and other woody plants,” stipulates the law. Rather, only “gentle pruning” is permitted, with larger work only allowed starting at the beginning of October. The aim of the law is to protect the animals and birds that tend to call these green spaces home in the spring and summer.

Frauentag comes to Berlin

Berliner residents (and commuters): whether you’re a fervent feminist planning on taking a picket to the streets or simply looking forward to taking it easy on Berlin’s newest public holiday, mark Friday, March 8th in your calendar.

Photo: DPA

SEE ALSO: What you should know about Frauentag, Berlin's newest public holiday

For the first time, the German capital will be celebrating International Women’s Day, not just in spirit, but as an actual Feiertag. Berlin’s now 10 official holidays might still pale in comparison to Bavaria’s 13, but the ever-groundbreaking state can celebrate being the first of the Bundesländer to create a special holiday for the day, which has now existed for over 100 years in Germany.

Building better wages

As of March 1st, employees in the construction industry will receive more money. The union IG Bau and the two employers' associations of the construction industry reached the agreement together, and now five million employees will benefit from the change.

SEE ALSO: Minimum wage to raise in 2019

In western Germany, skilled workers will receive €15.20 instead of €14.95. In eastern Germany on the other hand, they will only receive €12.20. Due to its proximity in both east and west, a compromise was reached for Berlin: Here the minimum wage for skilled workers will rise from €14.80 to €15.05.

Unskilled workers will also receive more money starting from March 1st: €11.75 instead of €12.20.

Photo: DPA

Moped, mo’ insurance

Planning of hitting the open road on your moped amid the unseasonably nice weather? Make sure to check that your insurance is up to date. The insurance season for mopeds starts every year on March 1st.

Since the license plate for mopeds is only valid for one year and the expiration date is at the end of February, a new number plate will be required from March 1st, 2019. This also applies to segways, quads, minicars, s-pedelecs and e-bikes.

This year the colour of the insurance number plate will change from blue to green. The old insurance number plate does not have to be cancelled separately.

It’s time for a change

On March 31st, Germans will be trading a bit more light for a little less sleep. On the precious Sunday sleeping (or perhaps partying) hour of 2 a.m., clocks will be set forward to 3 a.m.

If you’re not a fan of daylight savings time, there’s still a fierce debate about whether to abolish the system all together - but it doesn’t look like it will be implemented until 2021 at the earliest.

SEE ALSO: Will next Sunday's switch to wintertime be the last?

The big Brexit day

If you’re British in Germany (or have avoided living in a cave over the past couple months), it’s a date which is hard to ignore. On March 29th, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union - at least these are the plans for Brexit.

Whether this withdrawal will be regulated or unregulated, whether there will be new deadlines, or even whether Brexit will be postponed completely, however, remains open.

One thing is clear, though: if Brexit really does come at the end of March, it will most likely be the biggest and most serious change of the year, at least at the European level.

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Mike Sanders - 01 Mar 2019 02:48
If you're going to daylight saving time wouldn't the clock move forward one hour instead of back?
YorkshireT - 01 Mar 2019 07:47
Spring = Forward, FALL = Back ....
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