Is your child nagging you for an increase in his or her allowance? It might be a good idea to make your child value money by earning some himself. Here, we will inform you what you as a parent need to know if your kid may work at all and if so under which conditions.


My kid is bugging me to raise his allowance. He’s becoming too expensive. I believe he should start earning some of his own money. May kids work in Germany?

This question can be answered with very clear “yes” and a very clear “no”. Generally, they are allowed to work if you permit. Only, the type of work is restricted. Your child may not work night shifts, on assembly-lines, on weekends or do hazardous work. Depending on the child’s age, the time to work is limited too. Working age starts at 13. Of course, nobody will complain about a five-year old “bartender” rinsing glasses on a church bazaar – naturally, under the supervision of an adult.

Overview of Permitted Work in Relation to Child’s Age



13 – 15 neither before school nor after 6 pm 2 hrs/daily
15 – 18 between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
and only exceptionally working
max. 8 hrs/daily
and 40 hrs/week
18 – death no restrictions under rules for protection of children
Can I correctly suppose that my offspring will not have to pay any taxes?

You are generally wrong. Children have to pay taxes just as adults do. Therefore, it can be an advantage to let the child “own” shares or savings books. Your little one will have to pay taxes on his taxable income and can use all tax free limits – just as much as you can. Subject to taxation is income minus income-related expenses and extra-ordinary expenses. N.B. Professional help is strongly recommend before shifting your income or funds to children because mistakes can be very costly!

Does this have any effect on subsidies and grants for children (Kindergeld)?

Only if your child earns so much that it has to pay taxes on its income. This would be € 8,004 for 2011. This amount varies and usually increases annually.

Additional information