Everything that changes in Germany in September 2021

Everything that changes in Germany in September 2021
Parental payments are being improved. Photo: dpa | Felix Kästle
It's not every day that a country waves goodbye to a leader who has been in charge for the past 16 years. But it's not just the federal election that will ring in the changes in September 2021, there are a few other things that are useful to know.

The end of an era

On September 26th Germany will vote for a new national parliament and for the first time since 2005 Angela Merkel will not be leading the centre-right CDU. That has shaken up the cards. While Merkel still remains by come distance the most popular politician in the land, three Chancellor candidates are hoping to take her place.

If you can’t face going cold turkey on die Kanzlerin, worry not. She will still be in charge in a transitional capacity until the next government is formed. And that could take a while… it took half a year to build a new government after the last election (although that did bring an end to the longest coalition talks in German history).

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For any readers who have German citizenship and who haven’t yet decided which party to back, the Wahl-o-Mat will go online on September 2nd. The online election tool asks you a series of questions and then compares your answers to the manifestos of all the registered parties. You can visit the website here.

English speakers should also check out this resource by VoteSwiper.

Other elections

Residents of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will also be voting for new state parliaments on September 26th. These elections are also only open to German citizens. The Wahl-o-Mat for these states is already up and running.

Reform of parental pay

Starting on September 1st improvements in the benefits received by parents taking paid leave from work after childbirth will kick in.

The amount of part-time work parents are allowed to perform while still receiving parental pay has been raised from 30 hours to 32 hours per week.

Meanwhile the “partner-bonus”, which allows both parents to work part-time while receiving parental allowance, has also been made more flexible. Couples can now each work for between 24 to 32 hours per week.

The amount of time that couples can make use of the partner bonus will also be regulated more flexibly. Replacing the old rule whereby they had to use the bonus for a period of four months, they can now take it for two blocks of two months, while also being able to extend or shorten their use of it at short notice.

There is also good news for parents whose baby is born prematurely. They will receive additional financial support from the state for an additional four months if needed, meaning they can take more time off work to care for their child.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Germany’s new parental benefits reforms

New travel rules to UK

September 30th marks the day that national ID cards will no longer be accepted for travel into the UK. So if you are travelling to the UK with a German partner, friend or relative, remind them that they will need a passport after this date.

Travel to Canada

The Canadian government is opening its borders to fully vaccinated people from Europe again on September 7th. Anyone hoping to visit the North American state will have to register with the ArriveCan system. Vaccinations administered with two different vaccines (Kreuzimpfung) are recognised by the Canadian government but people who have recovered and only been given one dose of a vaccine are not viewed as fully vaccinated.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about travel between Canada and Germany

The DAX is growing

The stock market index of Germany’s top 30 publicly listed companies is set to grow to include 40 members. The new recruits to the prestigious club will be announced on September 3rd. Rumour has it that Airbus will be one of the lucky 10.

New labelling for lights

When you buy a light in Germany you have probably noticed that they contain a label which explains how energy efficient they are. Currently the label goes from E (inefficient) to A (efficient) but also includes an A+ and an A++. For the sake of simplicity a new scale is being brought back in on September 1st with a scale from F (inefficient) to A (efficient). 

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