In Germany, the term employment relationship generally refers to a professional activity aimed at securing a livelihood. This can be an employment relationship under public law as a civil servant , soldier or judge or an employment relationship under private law , which is fundamentally subject to social security obligations ( employment relationship subject to insurance).
Concept of social law
Employment relationship in the narrower sense is a term from social law . An employment relationship (and thus compulsory insurance ) exists regularly for people who are employed for wages or for their vocational training ( SGB IV ), whereby employment is understood to mean self-employed work ( SGB IV). Even if employment is usually carried out as part of an employment relationship , other employment relationships are also subject to compulsory insurance without being an employment relationship (such as the activity as an external manager or as a so-called bogus self-employed person (see employee , bogus self-employment )). The concept of employment under social security law is not congruent with the concept of employment under labor law.
The performance of work in personal dependence on an employer is decisive for the existence of an employment relationship. The payment of wages is an additional requirement for the establishment of compulsory insurance. If an employment is carried out free of charge, this is contrary to the compulsory insurance. It is sufficient that the grant in question is consideration for work done. An employee is already employed “for remuneration” if he is entitled to remuneration without actually having to receive the remuneration.
Exempt from the compulsory insurance are u. a. marginally employed . According to (1) No. 1 SGB IV, an employee in an occupation whose regular monthly wage does not exceed the marginal earnings threshold is exempt from insurance. Since January 1, 2013, the marginal earnings limit has been 450 euros per month.
Since an employment relationship requires a job in a dependent position, the case law of the Federal Social Court assumed that the employment relationship subject to social insurance already ends when an irrevocable release from the obligation to work until the end of the employment relationship is agreed. On the one hand, this had the consequence that blocked periods (due to termination of the employment relationship) when receiving unemployment benefit already begin to run at the time of the exemption, but on the other hand, that the compulsory insurance ended with the exemption and thus the protection of the statutory health insurance was no longer applicable and thus higher contributions had to be paid by the employee alone. The amendment to SGB IV in July 2009 removes this problem with the addition of Paragraph 1a in SGB IV.