Everything that changes in Germany in November 2019

Everything that changes in Germany in November 2019
Get ready for changes in November. Photo: DPA
From invoices to slot machines and patient care, there are a lot of changes in store for people living in Germany in November.

Holidays in November

In some German states (but not all, unfortunately) workers can expect time off work in November. Right at the start of the month, residents in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland  received an extended weekend on All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen) on November 1st.

One state can also look forward to a holiday on November 20th. The day of Repentance and Prayer (Buß- und Bettag) is a celebrated in Saxony.

Changes to identity card

Since 2017, German citizens have been able to identify themselves online using the online ID card function (eID function) their ID card (Personalausweis).

This card with the eID function can be used to provide a legally binding signature from a distance and it can be used to log in to authorities, insurance companies or for online shopping.

However, this function is not yet accessible to everyone. EU citizens and German nationals living abroad have so far been excluded. This will change in November as the federal government introduces the eID card.

This is a chip card with the most important data such as name, address and date of birth. EU citizens will be able to identify themselves electronically simply and securely. This is necessary, for example, if you want to apply for a certificate of good conduct online or submit a tax return.

Germans living abroad in other countries can also enter their foreign address.

The chip will be issued for ten years. Applicants must be at least 16 years old, reported Focus Online.

Photo: DPA

Car insurance deadline

If you have a car in Germany, you must have insurance for it. But if you'd like to change your car insurance (Kfz-Versicherung) for next year, the deadline to do so is November 30th.

It can be a way to save money if you manage to secure a cheaper tariff.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about getting a German driving license

Bid to improve nursing care

On November 1st, new guidelines for inpatient care and nursing home assessments will come into force.

Up until now, nursing homes have been able to receive top marks from inspectors more easily – even if there was problems in care for individual residents. It made it difficult to find out the standard of care for the some 700,000 residents of nursing homes in Germany.

However, this will change with a new nursing care inspection system. In future, the focus will no longer be on bureaucracy and whether each step has been meticulously documented, but on whether the individual residents are doing well and what risks they face.

Quality and possible grievances will be measured in a two-stage procedure. Nursing homes must regularly collect data such as the frequency of residents' pressure sores, serious fall injuries as well as what they are doing to promote their mobility, independence, communication and social contacts. 

This already came into force in October, but from November, nursing homes now have to collect data on each resident every six months and report the results to a data centre.

In addition, auditors from statutory and private health insurance companies are to examine the quality of the individual homes on 24 aspects every 14 months. They will also evaluate the data collected.

READ ALSO: Explained: How Germany plans to fight its drastic shortage of care workers

Boost for employees

It's good news for around 60,000 employees in the electrical trade sector in Baden-Württemberg: they will receive more money from November. The electrical engineering and information technology trade association, which is responsible for the employers' side, and the IG Metall trade union were able to come to an agreement with employers.

Accordingly, the salaries of employees in the industry will rise by 3.9 percent in the future. Apprentices will receive €60 more per month – which, according to IG Metall, corresponds to a pay increase of between six and eight percent. The new contract will initially run until the end of March 2021.

Cutting down on paperwork

Germany is on the road to becoming more digitized. Photo: DPA

German bureaucracy can be one of the most difficult things to deal with when you move to the Bundesrepublik. But a new law is changing the way bills are received and processed.

So for all those who issue invoices to the authorities, it's going to get bit easier next month. Since November 27th 2018, the highest federal authorities and constitutional bodies have had to accept and process electronic invoices. And from November 27th 2019, all other federal contracting authorities will also be obliged to do so.

The last step of the e-invoicing regulation will then come into force next year. From November 2020, all companies working with the public sector will also be obliged to issue invoices electronically. The aim is to reduce bureaucracy and modernize administration.

The regulation is based on a German law, but is ultimately based on European regulations. Invoices are transmitted via an administrative portal for which companies and suppliers must register with a user account.

Less slot machines allowed in pubs

In the fight against gambling addictions in Germany, an amendment to the gambling regulation (Spielverordnung) comes into force in November.

So far, operators of pubs, betting shops or restaurants have been allowed to set up three gaming machines per location. This is to change in the course of a new regulation. As of November 10th, only two machines will be allowed per location.

Major climate strike

Fridays for Future is planning strikes in Germany as part of Global Climate Strike Day on November 29th.

The alliance announced that activists from more than a hundred cities had announced actions on this date before the start of the World Climate Conference in Chile. In addition to strikes, “creative protests” are also planned in Germany and worldwide.

Bargains for shoppers

If you fancy some retail therapy, don't forget that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is approaching: Amazon, Ebay and numerous other retailers are set to offer heavy discounts.

Black Friday is on November 29th and Cyber Monday is on December 2nd.

There are new rules on the amount of slot machines in venues in Germany. Photo: DPA

Update imminent for Windows 10

The second major Windows 10 update this year is about to be released. According to Microsoft, the new update will come out on November 12th, which is a bit later than originally planned.

The update should not only make Windows 10 easier to use – Microsoft has also made some technical improvements and changes to the user interface.

Gamers take note

Google's cloud gaming streaming service Stadia is scheduled to launch in Germany on November 19th. With Stadia, video games no longer have to run on home computers or consoles. Instead, users can stream them directly from the cloud via the Internet at the push of a button.

The games run on specialized servers from Google and can be played by users on many different devices without lots of hardware requirements.


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