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Everything that changes in Germany in May 2023

Rachel Stern
Rachel Stern - [email protected]
Everything that changes in Germany in May 2023
A flower clock in Greiz, Thuringia. People in Germany are getting ready for more changes this May. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Bodo Schackow

From wage increases to reduced energy prices, we look at the biggest changes coming to Germany in the month of May.

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Deutschlandticket officially launches

You have already been able to purchase it since April 3rd, but since Monday, May 1st you've finally been able to use it: the Deutschlandticket, also called the €49 ticket or simply D-Ticket. With the monthly ticket, you can travel on regional public transport all over Germany. The ticket can be bought on the websites and apps of the country's various transport associations (for example, the BVG in Berlin) as well Deutsche Bahn. As an alternative to the mobile ticket, a chip card is also available. Until the end of the year paper tickets will also be available in some regions.

There has been high demand in the first days after the sales launch, with Deutsche Bahn reporting that 250,000 tickets had already been sold. Employers can issue the Deutschlandticket as a job ticket and offer employees a reduced price of €34.30 or less. There are several other special offers around the country, including discounted tickets for young people, students and those receiving social benefits.

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D-ticket

A man holds a smartphone featuring the new "D-Ticket", which went on sale Monday, April 3rd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Strauch

Corona warning app discontinues most important function

Even for those still taking precautions against the spread of Covid-19, the Corona Warn app has not played a major role in everyday life for some time now. And as of May, the app is only of limited use, the Robert Koch Institute announced on its website. 

The warning that users receive after contact with infected people will cease after April 30th. Users will still be able to use certain functions, for example to display vaccination certificates. The Corona Warn app has been available in app stores for about three years and has been downloaded almost 50 million times.

READ ALSO: READER QUESTION: Do I still need need Corona warn apps in Germany?

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Higher wages for care home employees 

Elderly care employees are receiving more money for their work since the start of May, the first of two wage adjustments in 2023. The minimum wage continues to differ according to the qualification of the employees: Auxiliary staff are set to receive at least €13.90 per hour, while qualified nursing assistants can expect €14.90 per hour.

And qualified nurses will earn at least €17.65 per hour. The second increase is planned for December.

Gas prices set to sink 

As of Monday, the energy prices for gas dropped at several basic suppliers - bringing the costs below the limit of 12 cents per kilowatt hour set by Germany's gas price brake. The reason for this is that prices on the wholesale market have been significantly lower again in recent months, according to the Gasag Group announced. The comparison portal Check24 also spoke of a drop in prices for gas tariffs. Starting on Monday, it's therefore worthwhile for consumers to compare the prices of different providers.

READ ALSO: How much could households save under Germany's new gas price cap?

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Special payments for construction workers, painters and varnishers 

In April, those working in the construction trades saw their salaries increase, and now many can also look forward to a special one-off payment. The €450 bonus will be paid on top of normal salaries - but only in west Germany due to the difference in living costs. 

Employees in the painting and varnishing sector can also expect to receive an inflation compensation bonus of €600 with their May salaries.

Vodafone increases prices

The costs for DSL and fixed-network contracts at Vodafone will increase on May 4th, when customers will have to fork out an extra €5 per month. For newer customers, the higher prices already applied from November 2022, and now existing customers will also have to dig deeper into their pockets. 

According to Vodafone, all those affected were already informed about the new tariffs in March. They have a special right of termination of three months, in case they're keen to change providers.

Public holidays in May: When do employees have time off?

Good news for all employees eager to embrace the finally-sunny weather: There are three public holidays in May, with all of them falling during the week. Here's when you can look forward to a long weekend or take a bridge day (Brückentag).

People on the beach in Lubmin, northern Germany, in summer 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Stefan Sauer

Monday, May 1st: Labour Day (with three days off on the weekend)

Thursday, May 18th: Ascension Day (four days off with a bridge day)

Monday, May 29th: Whitsun (three days off)

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Digital Markets Act now regulates Google, Amazon, Apple & Co.

The Digital Services and Markets Act comes into force on Tuesday, May 2nd. That means that tech giants like Amazon and Google will have to comply with strict rules in the EU from then on to ensure fair competition.

Personalised advertising or self-promotion will be severely restricted, and users must also be able to delete pre-installed apps. If platform operators do not comply with the rules, they will face sanctions - in the worst case scenario, this would mean the break-up of the company in the EU.

READ ALSO: How German authorities are cracking down on Google

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