– organ donation: regardless of the ongoing investigation into the organ donation scandal, transplants will be flanked by new legal regulations. An audit commission based at the german medical association is now taking a closer look at transplant centers and organ removal clinics and informing the relevant state authorities in the event of violations of the transplant law. Transplant hospitals must also appoint transplant officers. Living donors now have a claim against the organ recipient’s health insurance company for medical treatment, pre- and post-donation care, rehabilitation, travel expenses and sick pay. In the event of incapacity for work, you will also receive continued payment of wages. The costs must be covered by the health insurance of the organ recipient. If the donor suffers health problems in connection with the organ transplant, the statutory accident insurance will now cover the costs. The start of the planned survey of citizens on their willingness to donate organs in the event of death will not take place until the beginning of november.
– toll: tolls will now also be charged on well-maintained federal highways for coarser trucks – on routes with a total length of around 1,000 kilometers nationwide. The federal ministry of transport hopes this will generate an additional 100 million euros a year for road construction. As on the approximately 13,000 kilometers of autobahns, the extended toll – an average of 17 cents per kilometer – must be paid for trucks over twelve tons. The bundesrat had already cleared the way for the expansion of the toll in may of last year. However, the negotiations with the toll operator toll collect dragged on for a long time.
– LAW/CONSUMER PROTECTION: for sales on the internet, providers must now set up a button "order subject to payment" – only if the customer clicks on this button is a contract concluded. This button is intended to put a stop to hidden – and expensive – cost traps on the internet. Providers must also display prices, delivery costs and minimum terms. Consumers have so far been taken in by subscription traps on the internet and by hidden price quotations that mask the actual costs.
– IMMIGRATION: highly qualified people from outside the EU can now settle in germany more easily than before. Anyone with a job earning more than 44,800 euros per year is allowed to move in. For professions with many vacancies – such as engineers – the threshold is 35,000 euros. Until now, the residence permit was only available for annual salaries of at least 66,000 euros. The so-called blue card entitles the holder to stay for a limited period of time. After three years, an unlimited settlement permit is only issued if the employment contract is still in force. Those with a good knowledge of german will get their permit a year earlier. New: foreigners with a university degree and enough money to live on can enter the country for six months to look for a job. Foreign students have 18 months instead of 12 months to find a job after graduating from a german university.
– LAW: journalists will be better protected from judicial intervention in the future. You can no longer be prosecuted for aiding and abetting secrecy if you publish leaked material. This material can now only be confiscated if the journalist concerned is strongly suspected of being an accomplice. The amendment is based on the "cicero" ruling of the federal constitutional court, which criticized a raid on the magazine "cicero" in 2005 as being contrary to the basic law. Searches and seizures are always unconstitutional if they serve the sole purpose of finding the leak in an authority. In this specific case, a "classified matter" from the federal criminal police office had been quoted.
– MINIMUM WAGE: around 26,000 employees in the education and training sector will now also benefit from a lower wage limit. The collective agreement, which has been declared generally binding, provides for a minimum hourly wage of 12.60 euros in the west and 11.25 euros in the east for employees in the educational sector, as well as a minimum vacation entitlement of 26 days. The collective agreement applies to trainers who mainly train unemployed people or people threatened by unemployment.