Job centre

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Job center in Idar-Oberstein
Job center Goslar, sculpture group

A job center is a joint establishment of the Federal Employment Agency and a local authority ( § 44b , § 6d SGB ​​II) or the establishment of an approved district or an approved urban district ( § 6a , § 6d ). It is responsible for the implementation of the basic security for job seekers ( Hartz IV ) according to SGB ​​II .

The job center's task is to provide benefits in accordance with SGB II and, through “promoting and demanding”, to open up the prospect and opportunity for the people concerned to earn their living from their own resources, in the long term and without further public support. In the concept, however, the area of ​​responsibility is broader.

The name job center goes back to the final report of the Hartz commission .

Responsibility and duties

The job centers look after those receiving unemployment benefit II. The job centers are now responsible for the groups of people who received unemployment benefit or social assistance up to 2004 , provided that they now receive unemployment benefit II (ALG II) (also known as "Hartz 4"). The responsibility for this group of people previously lay with the employment office (now: Employment Agency ) if unemployment benefits were received, or the social welfare office of the respective municipality if social assistance was received; if social assistance was received in addition to unemployment benefits, both authorities used to be responsible. With the reform of the performance law, a single point of contact has now been created for those affected.

After the entry into force of SGB II, the social welfare offices will continue to independently grant social assistance to those in need of assistance based on the new legal basis of SGB ​​XII . However, as soon as a member of a benefit community receives unemployment benefit II, the job centers are responsible for all members of the benefit community, unless benefits under SGB XII can be claimed in certain cases. According to Section 29 (1) SGB III, career counseling continues to be the sole responsibility of the employment agency. The non-employable beneficiaries of the benefit community (children up to the 15th birthday and permanently disabled beneficiaries without entitlement to benefits according to SGB XII) receive social benefits from the job center if they are in need of help . Until December 31, 2016, the job centers were also responsible for placing unemployment benefit I recipients if they received unemployment benefit II in addition to unemployment benefit (so-called top - ups ), as well as for granting integration benefits for top-ups. This changed on January 1, 2017. Since then, the employment agency has also been in charge of looking after the so-called top-ups. The Employment Agency is still responsible for all other recipients of unemployment benefit who do not make use of any supplementary SGB II benefits.

The job centers are responsible for granting benefits (passive benefit law) and placement in work (active benefit law). The passive right to benefits includes all benefits to secure the livelihood, such as the standard benefit or benefits for accommodation and heating. Active benefit law includes all integration services, such as job opportunities, further training or integration grants. This also includes municipal services such as addiction counseling or debt counseling . So-called followers (accompanying persons) offer accompaniment for those in need .

Internal structure and staff

The internal structure of job centers is mostly based on active and passive benefit law. The granting of benefits for integration (active benefits) is assigned to case managers and recruitment agencies, who are also known as personal contacts (pAp) . In a few job centers, they are also responsible for granting unemployment benefit II (passive benefit). In the majority of the job centers, technical assistants in the granting of benefits (medium-level service) specialize in granting benefits. In the higher service work clerks for the granting of benefits, who mostly have a university degree and more powers. In order to offer tailor-made services for special problem situations, job centers have often set up their own organizational units for special groups of people, for example for service recipients up to 24 years of age (= "U25"), service recipients with a disability, with a migration background or independent service recipients.

The functional responsibility of employees in active and passive performance law is regulated differently, for example according to alphabet, city districts or municipalities. In larger job centers, entrance zones are often upstream, where the requests of the service recipients are received and assigned. Other departments handle inquiries from employers, work with educational institutions, deal with contradictions and deal with internal administrative tasks.

The employees or civil servants working in the job centers as joint institutions of the sponsors are assigned to the job centers, their employers remain the municipalities or the Federal Employment Agency. In the job centers, separate staff councils are formed in accordance with federal staff representation law.

Quarterly key figures for all job centers are published to determine and promote the efficiency of the job centers according to § 48a SGB ​​II.

Sponsorship of the job center

The Employment Agency in Bremerhaven 2009

The job center in separate sponsorship

In some cases (end of 2007: 21 rural districts / urban districts) the municipalities and the agencies either failed to agree on the formation of job centers or an existing working group was terminated. The employment agency and the municipality provided their services side by side (separate sponsorship). If the separate processing took place in a shared building, this was also sometimes referred to as the job center. The job center was not an establishment of a working group. This form of sponsorship no longer exists since January 1, 2012.

The job center as a common facility

303 of the 408 job centers are joint institutions between the employment agency and the municipality (districts and urban districts). This is the legal rule. Until 2010 a job center was called "ARGE" (Arbeitsgemeinschaft SGB II).

In a joint institution, the Federal Employment Agency is factually responsible for federal funds, such as funds for placement in work and standard benefits. The municipalities are responsible for the cost of accommodation in accordance with Section 22 of Book II of the Social Code as well as for providing municipal integration services (including childcare, debt counseling and addiction advice). Most of the employees in the job centers are formally either employees of the employment agency or a municipality who are seconded to work there. As part of the administrative assistance, employees from the former state-owned companies Post, Telecom and Rail are occasionally deployed.

The job center in an optional municipality

In 105 cases, the job centers are operated solely by the municipality or the district as so-called approved municipal bodies (zkT). These are also referred to as option municipalities or option groups . As of January 1, 2012, 41 new zkT were added.

Comparison of the performance of job centers

The performance of individual job centers can be compared using the key figures according to Section 48a SGB ​​II. The legal basis for this is § 48a SGB II and the corresponding ordinance . The 408 job centers in Germany are grouped into 15 SGB II comparison groups. The job centers within a comparison group are similar in terms of the respective framework data.

The performance of the job center is measured in relation to three goals:

  • Reducing the need for assistance
  • Improving integration into employment
  • Avoidance of long-term benefits

For each of these three goals, a key figure with four additional parameters was defined. These key figures are used to determine the performance in relation to the respective goal. These data are published on the Internet in a generally accessible monthly manner.

Concerns and criticism about the ARGE model


After eleven districts lodged constitutional complaints, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in December 2007 that the formation of working groups violated the Basic Law in some cases. The legislature was given a three-year deadline until the end of 2010 to reorganize the administration.

Optional municipalities and job centers with separate sponsorship are not working groups and are therefore not affected.

Previously, an expert opinion by the Scientific Service of the Bundestag had already informed that the “execution of federal laws by joint institutions of federal corporations under public law and administrative institutions of the states” is not planned. Art. 83 (GG) regulates the implementation of federal laws: “The states implement the federal laws as their own matter, unless this Basic Law determines or permits otherwise.” If the federal government implements the laws, this can be done according to Art. 87 GG through “federally direct Corporations under public law , such as the Federal Employment Agency.

As a result, the Constitutional Court came to the conclusion that § 44b SGB ​​II [...] with Art. 28 Paragraph 2 Clause 1 and 2 in conjunction with Art . V. m. Art. 83 GG is incompatible because "the autonomous performance of tasks by the municipalities and municipal associations [...] [is] impaired if the legislature bindingly orders the simultaneous performance of tasks by different administrative authorities without sufficient justification."

On June 17, 2010, the Bundestag passed a law that had been agreed in March 2010 at a top-level meeting between the CDU, FDP and SPD under Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen . The Federal Council approved the law on July 9, 2010.

The organizational reform consisted of the law amending the Basic Law (Article 91e) (GGÄndG) of July 21, 2010 and the law for the further development of the organization of basic security for jobseekers (GrSiWEntG) of August 3, 2010:

  • The added Article 91e of the Basic Law regulates the cooperation between the federal government, the federal states or the municipalities and associations of municipalities responsible under state law in the area of ​​basic security for jobseekers, which takes place in joint institutions . The former ARGEs were thus transferred to joint facilities between the municipality or district on the one hand and the employment agency on the other hand and secured in the Basic Law. In addition, the article allows the federal government, in coordination with the highest state authorities, to allow a limited number of municipalities and municipal associations to perform these tasks alone. Finally, the federal government is obliged to assume the necessary expenses, including administrative expenses.
  • The law for the further development of the organization of basic security for jobseekers (GrSiWEntG) regulated the uniform designation job center and allowed the existing municipal bodies to carry out their tasks indefinitely. A limited number of other municipal bodies have been given the prospect of being approved by the BMAS by ordinance without the consent of the Bundesrat. In addition, organizational regulations were fixed, such as management, the owners' meeting and the takeover of previous ARGE employees. Some provisions of the law came into force on August 11, 2010, the rest followed on January 1, 2011.

In addition, the option model now secured in the Basic Law has been expanded to include up to 110 municipalities. The separate sponsorship was dissolved by the end of 2011.


The organizational form of the ARGEs was hotly controversial right from the start. The Federal Employment Agency (BA) warned of unclear responsibilities during the preparation phase. In fact - contrary to what was planned - a third service and authority has arisen instead of combining the dual responsibility. The inexpedient legal construction of the ARGEs is the result of a political compromise between the then red-green federal government and the CDU-dominated Federal Council , which did not focus on a clear competence, i. H. further management of the needy unemployed by the bureaucratically discredited BA or complete transfer to the municipalities.

With the employment agencies and social welfare offices, two different administrative cultures meet: While the Federal Employment Agency is a hierarchically structured (and also the largest) federal authority with an instructional nature, the municipalities are politically independent units and within their area of ​​responsibility are not directly bound by instructions to the federal government. In addition, the mayors - unlike the heads of the employment agencies - are elected. In practice, due to the different views, there were disputes within the working groups in numerous districts, which in individual cases went as far as the dissolution of one. Due to two different employers (agency / municipality) there are also different loyalties and different working conditions in the working group. For example, there are significant differences in terms of pay, qualifications and working time regulations, as the collective bargaining agreements and civil service regulations as well as the service agreements of the respective employee continue to apply to the employees.

The goal of making the administration more effective was largely not achieved. In June 2006, the ombudsman for SGB II stated in its final report that the legal structure “ARGE” in its then current form could not be administered.


A frequent point of contention between the job centers in the form of a working group was the division of administrative costs between the municipality and the employment agency. The federal government expected a municipal participation of at least 12.6%. In 2007, individual working groups were terminated because the municipal side was not willing to participate to this extent. From 2011, the communal financing share was therefore regulated uniformly by law and initially amounted to 12.6% nationwide. From April 2011, following the introduction of new services for the education and participation of children, the participation rate was increased to 15.2%. In return, the federal government pays a higher share of the accommodation costs.

Attacks on job center employees

A study by the German Statutory Accident Insurance , in which 2194 employees were surveyed between January 2008 and January 2009, showed that every fourth job center employee has already been the victim of an assault. The most frequent attacks are therefore insults or refusals (especially when asked to leave). Almost 70 percent of the respondents occasionally or often feel threatened or unsafe. Physical attacks, on the other hand, are rather rare. The study found that an employee is physically attacked an average of twice a year.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Jobcenter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Jobcenter  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  • Isabel Horstmann: In the jungle of measures - an application trainer reports. EWK Verlag 2008. ISBN 978-3938175408 . Paperback: 202 pages

Individual evidence

  1. Modern services on the labor market, proposals from the commission to reduce unemployment and to restructure the Federal Labor Office, p. 65 ff  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF file; 12.31 MB).@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  2. Newsletter of the Federal Employment Agency: and labor market reporting No. 6/2010 from May 4, 2010 ( Memento of the original from October 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Employment agency now responsible for “Aufstocker”. In: , December 23, 2016, accessed June 20, 2017.
  4. Key figures
  5. Overview of the providers in the area of ​​SGB II - SGB ​​II regional structure - level of providers of basic security
  7. Key figures and supplementary values: Definition of the key figures and supplementary variables according to Section 48a SGB II , brief overview of the key figures and supplementary variables according to Section 48a SGB II ( Memento of the original from July 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and still Not checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Download the key figures and access the interactive key figure tool. In:
  9. a b Federal Constitutional Court: BVerfG, judgment of December 20, 2007 , Az. 2 BvR 2433/04, 2 BvR 2434/04, full text.
  10. ^ Job center reform: Bundestag approves amendment to the Basic Law. In: , June 17, 2010, accessed on March 5, 2013
  11. a b Job Center: Federal Council approves constitutional amendment. In: , July 9, 2010, accessed March 5, 2013
  12. BGBl. 2010 I p. 944
  13. Federal Law Gazette I, page 1112
  14. ^ A b Anja Lohmann: Key points of the job center reform. German Bundestag, November 11, 2010, accessed on March 5, 2013 (PDF; 63 kB)
  15. Implementation of the education and participation package in Bremen and Bremerhaven p.9. (PDF; 176 kB) Accessed January 14, 2012 .
  16. Miriam Hollstein: Study: Every fourth job center employee attacked. In: The world . May 11, 2011, accessed August 19, 2016 .