Change in long-term care insurance contributions in Germany – Consider data protection

The employer can process “parenthood” in Germany – but how?

You may know that the contribution for the statutory long-term care insurance in Germany will change starting July. There will be different contribution rates depending on the number and age of an employee’s children. In order to calculate these correctly, the employer must ask for this data.

What must be considered in terms of data protection?

Regarding the data collection:

  • The employer is obliged by law to report the necessary information to the appropriate bodies so that the contribution for long-term care insurance in Germany can be calculated.
  • Therefore, it is generally permissible for the employer in Germany to ask for information on the number and age of an employee’s children (regarding age: if they are younger than 25 years old) or whether the employee has any children at all. Employed persons do not have to answer this question, but then they also do not receive the reduced care contribution.

On the method of data collection:

  • The employer may simply ask employees for this information, and they would answer when being asked.
  • If the employer finds this too risky (e.g. because this could lead to transmission errors), they may ask for proof (e.g. birth certificate, proof of child support) and document that they have seen the original of these documents.
  • Copies made by the employer: Making copies is a grey area from a data protection point of view. If the employer does not need the copies for other purposes, they should avoid being made. Reason: These documents receive additional data that the employer does not need (the general information on copying official documents applies here, too). On the other hand, if copies are kept, it must be possible to justify this in a comprehensible manner.
  • If documents have already been filed for this purpose, but this cannot be sufficiently justified, they should be destroyed promptly.

We hope that this general information is helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions relating to data protection.