Considerations for overseas workers in Germany

With Germany’s strong economic growth leading the eurozone’s recovery, many UK businesses are keen to be part of the success story: recent data shows that there are currently more than 280,000* employees working for a UK-controlled company in the country.

However, Germany has also seen significant reforms to its healthcare system** in order to tackle the spiralling costs associated with increased demand and an ageing population. In short, this means that healthcare insurance is compulsory for all residents but despite a solid-state insurance system, private prepaid plans accounted for nearly 40 per cent** of private expenditure on health.

Doug Rice, managing director of Jelf International, said: “Despite having put reforms in place, Germany’s healthcare system continues to be under pressure, and successive governments have tried to reduce outgoings by cutting the proportion of the cost covered for treatments such as dental and vision care. Therefore, many higher earners or professionals are preferring to hold a PMI [private medical insurance] policy that also covers treatment outside of Germany and is more in line with the benefit levels they are accustomed to in their home country.”

In our latest ‘In Focus’ country guide, we set out some of the lesser-known facts about sourcing appropriate coverage for UK businesses with staff based in Germany. For more information, download our In Focus paper from our International Knowledge Centre.

*Office of National Statistics — employees working for a UK-controlled parent company (known as UKFAs or UK Foreign Affiliates)
**(Law on Improving Competition in Statutory Sickness Funds — GKV-WSG of 26 March 2007) Act (Gesundheits-Reformgesetz-Wettbewerbsstaerkungsgesetz)