Third book of the Social Security Code

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Basic data
Title: Third Book of the Social Code
- Employment Promotion -
Short title: Third book of the Social Security Code
Abbreviation: SGB ​​III
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Social law
References : 860-3
Issued on: March 24, 1997
( BGBl. I pp. 594, 595 )
Entry into force on: January 1, 1998
Last change by: Art. 309 VO from 19 June 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1328, 1364 )
Effective date of the
last change:
June 27, 2020
(Art. 361 of June 19, 2020)
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Third Book of the Social Code ( SGB ​​III ), together with SGB ​​II, has been regulating German employment promotion law since January 1, 1998 . SGB ​​III is the successor to the Employment Promotion Act (AFG), which expired on December 31, 1997.

SGB ​​III includes benefits and measures to promote employment. It is therefore the basis for the work of the Federal Employment Agency and the employment agencies. The Social Security Code III also contains regulations on unemployment insurance . The benefits are divided into the three major areas: employee benefits, employer benefits and carrier benefits.

With the law to improve integration opportunities on the labor market of December 20, 2011 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2854), the labor market policy instruments of the Federal Agency were reorganized and the relevant provisions in SGB III were revised in essential points. SGB ​​III has been restructured. As a result, those paragraphs that had not changed or changed only marginally were renumbered with effect from April 1, 2012.


Employment promotion is intended to counteract the emergence of unemployment, shorten the duration of unemployment and support the balance of supply and demand on the training and labor market. ( § 1 Abs. 1 SGB III) The local employment agency, which is supposed to guarantee local funding ( § 9 SGB ​​III), is responsible.

The benefits of active employment promotion are listed in the third chapter of SGB III, including unemployment benefits for professional development. Most of these benefits are discretionary benefits ; there is only a legal claim in certain exceptions ( Section 3 SGB ​​III). The employment agency has to select the most suitable service based on the principle of economy and efficiency ( Section 7 SGB ​​III).

Active employment promotion benefits are generally only provided upon application. However, the employment agency can also provide services ex officio, provided the person concerned agrees ( Section 323 SGB ​​III).

Active employment promotion benefits

The active employment promotion benefits listed in the third chapter of SGB III are:

Unemployment benefit and bankruptcy benefit

The fourth chapter of SGB III regulates the eligibility requirements and the amount of unemployment benefit (§§ 136 to 164) and insolvency benefit (§§ 165 to 172) and the payment of pension contributions while receiving unemployment benefit or insolvency benefit (§§ 173 to 175).


  • Klaus Niesel, Jürgen Brand: Social Code Labor Promotion (SGB III). Comment. 5th edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 3-406-52925-9 .
  • Dörte Nielandt: SGB ​​III as a field of conflict between social and competition law. Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-8305-1153-1 .

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