Event Staff FAQ

adag Payroll Services GmbH specializes in Germany-wide and agency-independent payroll accounting for short-term and temporary employees.

We do not place personnel and do not agree on wages or bonuses. We are exclusively service providers of film, television and advertising productions.

The basis for the settlement is the information and data on the employment contract you have completed. We verify compliance with the law regulating a general minimum wage(Mindestlohngesetz – MiLoG), but we cannot make any statements about pay agreements between you and your agency or production because, apart from agreeing to settle your wages, we are not part of the pay negotiations. Your client or agency is responsible for all questions related to the amount of your salary, working hours etc.

The payroll includes, among other things

  • the collection and verification of your data,
  • the control and documentation of compliance with the minimum wage,
  • cashless payment processing,
  • the legally required declarations for offices and authorities, such as the wage tax declaration and the declarations for social insurance,
  • Preparation of payrolls, income tax certificates, SI registration certificates, certificates of additional income, income certificates and employment certificates,
  • the processing of remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance.

Under the Act Regulating a General Minimum Wage(Minimum Wage Act – MiLoG), a general statutory minimum wage will apply across the board in Germany for employees and for most interns from January 1, 2015. Since October 1, 2022, the statutory minimum wage has been 12 euros gross per hour worked. Of course, this also applies to your employment.

Short-term employment is employment limited in time to a maximum of three months or 70 working days in a calendar year and is not performed regularly but occasionally. If several short-term employments are carried out with different employers, these are added together when checking whether the periods of three months or 70 working days are exceeded.

Income from short-term employment is exempt from social insurance.

Short-term employment is no longer exempt from insurance if you are considered to be an employee if the time limits are exceeded or if the employment is performed on a professional basis and the monthly remuneration from this employment exceeds 520 euros gross.

The activity is considered to be of a professional nature if it is not of minor economic importance for the person employed. This applies in particular to persons with a status under social security law mentioned below:

  • Persons who are unemployed and registered with the Federal Employment Agency as training or jobseekers (with and without benefit receipt),
  • Employees on parental leave,
  • Employees on unpaid leave,
  • School leavers,
  • Individuals who are completing an unpaid internship,
  • Self-employed persons or freelancers receiving benefits,
  • Persons who receive supplementary benefits under SGB II or SGB III or who have already received corresponding benefits for more than 70 days in the current calendar year,
  • Persons who have already been unemployed for more than 70 days or 3 months in the current calendar year and have been registered with the Federal Employment Agency as training or jobseekers (with and without benefit receipt),
  • Doctoral students, students from the 26th semester, students on leave of absence, legal trainees,
  • Non-permanent employees (see “When am I billed as a non-permanent employee?” for more information on billing non-permanent employees).

Unfortunately, you cannot be accounted for as a short-term employee if

  • you have already been employed on a short-term basis for three months or 70 working days in the current calendar year

or

  • you are considered to be a non-permanent employee

or

  • your monthly remuneration from short-term employment exceeds 520 euros gross and you exercise the employment professionally due to your status under social insurance law.

In these cases, you will be billed by us for social insurance. In addition to income tax, social security contributions are then also due.

This applies in particular to persons with a social security or pension entitlement mentioned below.
legal status:

  • Persons who are unemployed and registered with the Federal Employment Agency as training or jobseekers (with and without benefit receipt),
  • Employees on parental leave,
  • Employees on unpaid leave,
  • School leavers,
  • Individuals who are completing an unpaid internship,
  • Self-employed persons or freelancers receiving benefits,
  • Persons who receive supplementary benefits under SGB II or SGB III or who have already received corresponding benefits for more than 70 days in the current calendar year,
  • Persons who have already been unemployed for more than 70 days or 3 months in the current calendar year and have been registered with the Federal Employment Agency as training or jobseekers (with and without benefit receipt),
  • Doctoral students, students from the 26th semester, students on leave of absence, legal trainees,
  • Non-permanent employees (see “When am I billed as a non-permanent employee?” for more information on billing non-permanent employees).

If you are frequently employed for short periods of time (maximum one week) and the income and time spent on these assignments exceed the income and time spent on your permanent or self-employed activities in the current calendar month, you can no longer be accounted for as a short-term employee free of social security contributions, but must be accounted for as a non-permanent employee.

In this case, the employer pays employer and employee contributions to health, nursing care and pension insurance. During non-employment periods between your work assignments, you continue to be insured as an employee for up to 3 weeks and can claim insurance benefits. As a non-employed person, you are not required to pay unemployment insurance contributions; therefore, you are not required to pay contributions in this branch, but you are also not entitled to ALG1.

If your monthly salary from short-term employment exceeds 520 euros gross, your social insurance status is decisive for the decision as to whether you can be accounted for as a short-term employee free of social insurance or whether you must be accounted for as an employee subject to social insurance.

In order to be able to bill you social insurance-free, we must carefully check your social insurance status, as additional payments will be due in the event of incorrect billing. As part of regular company audits by the German pension insurance, we must be able to provide evidence of any social security status in individual cases. If we do not have proof of status, we must bill you for social insurance.

If you have one of the following statuses and have answered no to questions 1, 4, A, B, C on your employment contract, you can be accounted for as a short-term employee and may be required to submit proof of status:

  • Child: no proof of status
  • Pupil* up to 15 years: no proof of status
  • Pupils from 16 years of age: current student ID, from 25 years of age additionally certificate of voluntary/private health insurance*.
    Note: This status is eligible if you attend a general education school. General education schools include, for example, elementary school, secondary modern school, grammar school, comprehensive school or an equivalent school leading to the same state-recognized school-leaving qualification. Accordingly, you can also declare this status if you are attending a vocational preparation year or basic vocational school year, as you are in a period of schooling comparable to school education. As an evening student, you can declare this status if you only attend evening school, are not employed and are not registered as a job seeker.
  • Applicant: Confirmation of the university, from 25 years of age additionally certificate of voluntary / private health insurance*.
    Attention: This status is only eligible if you are demonstrably between school graduation and university or technical college studies.
  • Student: Certificate of enrollment stating the semester of study, from 30 years of age additionally certificate of voluntary / private health insurance*.
    Attention: This status is only possible if you are properly enrolled at a university or university of applied sciences. Doctoral students who continue to be enrolled for doctoral studies are no longer regular students. This also applies to university assistants who have completed their studies. Furthermore, social security exemption no longer applies from the 26th semester and for students on leave. Trainee lawyers in the legal preparatory service are also subject to social security contributions, since the preparatory service is no longer performed during their studies. Social insurance exemption only applies if the preparatory service is performed within a civil servant relationship.
  • Trainee: no proof of status, but name and location of employer required
  • Employee: no proof of status, but name and location of employer required
    Attention: This status is only possible if you are employed in a job that is subject to social insurance contributions. A mini-job up to 520 euros is not employment subject to social security contributions.
  • Civil servant: proof of employment or certificate of private health insurance*.
  • Pensioner: pension certificate or certificate of private health insurance*.
  • Retired person: pension certificate, no proof of status required from 65 years of age.
  • Housewife/ -man: no proof of status
    Attention: This status is only possible if you are married and you are covered by the family insurance of your working spouse. The same applies if you are divorced and receive alimony from your former spouse.
  • Self-employed person: trade license and certificate of voluntary/private health insurance*.
    Attention: This status is only possible if you have registered a business and are voluntarily insured with a statutory or private health insurance. If your health insurance contributions are paid even partially by the employment agency or other authorities, you are not considered self-employed in the sense of social insurance law and cannot be settled by us without social insurance.
  • Freelancer: written confirmation from the tax office of your tax number and certificate of voluntary/private health insurance* or notice from the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ social insurance fund).
    Please note: This status is only possible if you are listed as a freelancer for tax purposes with the tax office and are either compulsorily insured via the artists’ social insurance fund or voluntarily insured with a statutory or private health insurance fund. If your health insurance contributions are only partially paid by the employment agency or other authorities, you are not considered a freelancer in terms of social insurance law and cannot be settled by us without social insurance.
  • Minijobber*in: no proof of status
  • Other status: type of billing and which status proof may be required must be checked in each individual case


* In the case of persons with statutory insurance, the certificate must clearly state that you are voluntarily insured, i.e. that your health insurance premiums are not paid by third parties. Copies of health insurance cards are therefore not sufficient as proof.
For privately insured persons, the health insurance card is also not sufficient. Please submit a membership certificate, certificate of insurance, confirmation of insurance, dues invoice, dues change, or similar.

Proof is also required for members of the Postbeamtenkrankenkasse and the Freie Heilfürsorge.

All documents should be from the current year.

If your remuneration from short-term employment exceeds 520 euros gross in the current calendar month and if you have one of the social insurance statuses listed below or have answered yes to the information on the employment contract for questions A, B, C, you must be accounted for by us as liable for social insurance:

  • School leaver
  • Unemployed and registered with the Federal Employment Agency as a training or job seeker (with or without benefits),
  • Employee* on parental leave
  • Employee on unpaid leave

In order to work in Germany, non-EU citizens need a valid residence and work permit. The documents must be presented at the place of work and a copy must be submitted. If adag Payroll Services GmbH does not have a copy of these documents, neither an accounting nor a payment of your wages can take place. You can find more information here: Foreigners’ Registration Office.

We need your social security number to register you with the relevant health insurance fund or the Federal Miners’ Insurance Fund. You can find this on their social security card. If you cannot find the ID card, you can also ask your health insurance fund or the German pension insurance for the SV number. You can also apply for a new SV card there if you have lost it or something similar.

If you have never been employed, even marginally, you will be assigned an SV number with our registration. You will be informed about this by the responsible pension insurance institution. Please note that in this case you cannot be automatically unsubscribed by us. It is therefore particularly important that you provide us with your SV number upon receipt.

We need your tax identification number (IdNr) in order to retrieve your ELStAM. In 2011, the tax office sent you an information letter with your ID number and informed you about your ELStAM. As a rule, you will also find your ID number in your income tax assessment notice or on your wage tax certificate.

If you cannot find your IdNr in your documents, you can request it from the Federal Central Tax Office. Here you will also find further information on the IdNr if, for example, you are not resident in Germany.

ELStAM stands for ElektronischeLohnSteuerAbzugsMerkmale (electronic payroll tax deduction data) and replaces the former wage tax card. Wage tax deduction characteristics include, for example, tax class, number of child allowances, church tax deduction characteristic and tax-free amount.

The data are stored at the tax authorities and are retrieved electronically by the employer. To do this, the employer must register you with your date of birth and tax identification number and then receives feedback on your stored ELStAM data.

Your current ELStAM will be shown in each pay slip. However, you can view your current ELStAM in the ElsterOnline portal at any time. You can find more information here: ELSTER.

The remuneration recorded on the employment contract is a gross wage.

In the context of short-term employment, only wage tax, solidarity surcharge (depending on the gross wage and the tax class) and, if applicable, church tax are deducted and paid to the tax office. The calculation of the wage tax / church tax is based on your individual wage tax deduction characteristics. These are retrieved from the tax office using your tax identification number via the ELStAM procedure.

If you are subject to social insurance contributions, additional employee contributions to health, nursing care, unemployment and pension insurance will be deducted.

For your income tax return, you will receive a wage tax certificate in addition to your pay slip. Depending on your annual income, you may be able to reclaim payroll taxes up to the full amount.

The payment amount is equal to the net amount shown on your pay stub.

If you receive income (e.g. salary, wages, company pension) that is settled via your individual wage tax deduction characteristics, your wage tax class is already occupied. A wage tax class can only be used by one employer at a time for payroll accounting and is therefore no longer available for payroll accounting by us.

In these cases, we will account for your wages using wage tax class 6. This applies to employees, civil servants, pensioners, retirees with company pensions, etc.

If, in this case, we were to settle your wages not according to wage tax class 6 but according to your individual wage tax characteristics, your previous income (e.g. salary, wages, company pension) would have to be settled via wage tax class 6 in the next settlement. However, since this is usually your main income, it would be disadvantageous for you. Therefore, in this case, payroll accounting is carried out by us via wage tax class 6.

The gross wage, including the agreed surcharges, less any statutory levies, will be transferred to the bank account specified by you no later than the end of the month following the assignment/working day.

Incomplete or incorrectly completed employment contracts or employment contracts without the appropriate proof of status cannot be processed or cannot be processed within the above-mentioned period. Based on legal regulations, we must insist on the completeness of the evidence and the accuracy of the information you provide.

If we retrieve your individual wage tax characteristics as part of the ELStAM procedure, we are dependent on the ELStAM feedback for payroll accounting. In the best case, the ELStAM feedback is sent one day after our request. However, this best case is not always given. The ELStAM feedback often reaches us several days later. Especially at the turn of the month, the ELSTER servers are very busy due to the large number of statements and the return may take more than a week.

If you have submitted the missing documents to us, we are generally unable to pay out immediately, as we must first retrieve your income tax deduction characteristics via ELStAM after completing your documents and wait for the corresponding feedback.

The prompt settlement and the fastest possible payment of your wages is not only in your interest, but also in ours. Please take leave of the idea that a delay in payment would have any advantages for us. The opposite is the case.

  • Income certificate
    We will send you a certificate of income without further request if you have indicated on the employment contract that you are unemployed or unemployable and registered with the Federal Employment Agency as a trainee or jobseeker (with and without benefits).
    Since our payroll software creates these automatically, it is not necessary for you to mail us an income statement for further processing.
  • Certificate of additional income (ALG 1)
    You can obtain a certificate of additional income from us at any time upon request: Contact.
    Since our payroll software creates them automatically, it is not necessary for you to send us a certificate of additional income by mail for further processing.
  • Certificate of employment (ALG 1)
    You can obtain a certificate of employment from us at any time upon request: Contact.
    Since our payroll software creates these automatically, it is not necessary for you to mail us a certificate of employment for further processing.
  • Remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance Fund
    You can send us your remuneration statements for the German Pension Insurance at any time by mail or e-mail (preferably as a PDF form). We will fill it out for you and send it back to the German Pension Insurance or back to you if you wish.

When working as an extra or small part actor, you are bound by instructions. This means that there is no income from self-employment or freelance work. Invoicing is therefore not possible.

The existence of a trade license alone does not turn an actual dependent employment into a self-employed activity.

Accounting as a short-term employee* offers some advantages over self-employment:

  • You do not have to register a business or write an invoice.
  • You do not have to pay tax on the income yourself. Wage tax is paid directly by the employer and taken into account in the income tax calculation (you will receive a wage tax certificate).
  • Under short-term employment, you are not subject to social insurance and retain your insurance status.
  • The German Pension Insurance cannot accuse you of bogus self-employment and demand social security contributions from you retroactively.
  • You are insured against accidents through your employer’s employers’ liability insurance association.

In order to bill and register you correctly, we depend on the accuracy of your information. Incorrect information about yourself or your social security status not only delays payment, but often results in a significant expense.

Since we work closely with agencies and authorities, incorrect information is usually noticed quickly and ambiguities can be cleared up. In some cases, however, misrepresentation can have consequences years later. If, for example, a company audit reveals that you have not reported to us as an unemployed job/training seeker, the German pension insurance will recalculate social security contributions and demand that you pay them back.

Proper accounting is therefore not only in our interest, but also in yours.

If you have inadvertently or knowingly provided incorrect information on the employment contract about yourself or your social security status, please contact us immediately so that we can correct your data and, if necessary, correct any corresponding notifications in good time.

If you are unsure about filling out the employment contract and need help, please use our completion guide provided for you. Of course, we are also at your disposal by phone or e-mail: Contact.