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Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance, called “Arbeitslosenversicherung” in German, is part of statutory social security.It provides insurance cover for jobless people to ensure that they have a secure income while they are searching for work.

If you have worked in Germany before becoming unemployed and were employed subject to statutory social security regulations on 360 days in the preceding two years, and are available for recruitment you will normally be entitled to German unemployment benefit. Periods of employment in other EU Member States/EEA States and Switzerland cannot be taken into account.

Unemployment Insurance is deducted from salaries at source. You do not have to worry about them. As a rule, the employer is responsible for paying half of the contribution towards unemployment insurance, the employee the other half. The employer registers his employee with the respective health insurance provider who then automatically forwards the registration to all the other social security providers. Fellowships are usually exempt from compulsory social security payments. To what extent benefits accrued in Germany will be recognised by unemployment insurance providers in other countries must be ascertained in the respective country. If you are returning to a country which does not have a social security agreement with Germany it will not be possible to receive German unemployment benefit there. The unemployment insurance provider in Germany is the “Bundesagentur für Arbeit” (German Federal Employment Agency), represented by its local employment agencies.