Germany got a foretaste of spring in February.
In March it really comes - on March 1st the meteorological, and on the 20th of the month spring also begins astronomically, because on this date day and night are the same length.
You shouldn't let that confuse you, because there are a few more new rules to be observed.
Everything changes in the spring month of March.
Apply for child benefit until the end of March
Baukindergeld can still be applied for until the end of March 2021.
The term was extended by three months, because it should have expired at the end of 2020.
But because the corona pandemic made it difficult for families to apply, the deadline was extended.
Per child who is not yet 18 when applying for or buying their own home, 12,000 euros child benefit can be applied for - spread over a period of ten years.
More color for energy labels
In March the well-known energy labels for electrical appliances will disappear and be replaced by new ones.
From March 2021, the “A +++” category will become a “B” class.
The entire colored efficiency scale from A to G should be used again, according to the Federal Ministry of Economics.
This applies to electrical appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, light sources and televisions.
The consumer should be able to better recognize how energy efficient a device is.
With the old regulation, consumers would have had problems understanding the rating - or counting the plus signs.
According to the ministry, there have been rapid efficiency improvements in recent years, so that today almost all devices in several product groups are in the top efficiency classes.
There are also product groups in which there are no longer any products in the lower efficiency classes.
The energy labels are therefore being changed across the EU.
But another time change
Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 28th.
At two o'clock in the morning the clocks are put forward one hour.
So after 1.59 a.m. it will be 3 a.m.
The clocks are set back to Central European or Winter Time on October 31 at 3:00 a.m.
The regulation that summer time lasts from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October has existed in Germany since 1981. It was not until 1996 that the EU states harmonized their summer time regulations.
And it is precisely this harmonization that is now the problem.
The European Parliament has already decided that the time change will be abolished this year and that the change in March will be the last.
But for that to happen, the EU transport ministers first have to agree.
And that's still pending.
There is also no date for negotiations.
The return to Central European Time (CET), colloquially: Winter time, on Reformation Day seems to be a foregone conclusion.
Going it alone by individual EU countries would result in a patchwork of time.
And nobody wants that.
More security for credit card payments
From March 15, 2021, anyone who wants to pay with a credit card on the Internet must take another step in addition to entering the card details when approving the payment.
This security measure for authentication is required by a European guideline for online purchases with credit cards in Europe.
Actually, the so-called two-factor authentication should start at the beginning of the year, but the BaFin as the supervisory authority has postponed the introduction of the stricter security regulations for paying by credit card.
According to BaFin, the aim is to enable those involved to safely start up their new systems.
Experience has shown that when new IT systems are introduced, there are often start-up difficulties.
New rules for Google search
The search engine company Google is optimizing its search for mobile websites.
As of the end of March, companies whose websites are not optimized for mobile use will no longer be found.
Google has been pursuing the strategy of preferring pages optimized for display on smartphone displays for a few years.
Companies with outdated websites should urgently revise their websites.
Otherwise you will hardly be able to find them in a few weeks.
Many craft businesses that have only used their website to contact you are also affected.
Originally planned, Google wanted to introduce the new search rules in September 2020.
But the corona pandemic also thwarted this plan.
Yellow note by phone only in March
On March 31, the possibility of telephone sick leave for employees with a mild respiratory disease ends.
The regulation was introduced by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) of statutory health insurance physicians, the German Hospital Association (DKG) and the umbrella association of health insurance companies on October 19, 2020 to give patients an alternative to visiting a practice in Corona times.
Doctors must personally convince themselves of the patient's condition through a detailed telephone interview.
"The experiences from spring 2020 with sick leave by telephone have shown how carefully insured people deal with it," said G-BA Chairman Josef Hecken.
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