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Around the Web – Temporary workers, the second class employees?

08 March 2012

Manpower, which has recently opened up a new office in Berlin, said today that the bad image temporary staffing has in Germany is undeserved and needs to be changed. The firm, which employs around 22,000 staff in the country, is keen to do its bit when it comes to improving the reputation temporary staffing has in the federal state. This comes after the opposition party, Die Linke, has branded temporary workers as “second class employees.”

In an interview with Berliner Morgenpost, representatives of the firm pointed out that countries which operate an efficient temporary staffing industry, have better growth than countries which have strict regulations in place to tighten the use of temporary workers.

Vice President of Manpower Europe, Hans Leentjes, said that he supported the idea of treating employees equally. “If they [temporary workers] do the same work [as permanent employees] then I don’t see why they should be paid differently.” Mr Leentjes, who did not want to comment on the current political debates regarding the implementation of the European Agency Work Directive currently discussed in Parliament, pointed to his home country, the Netherlands. There, he said, temporary workers get the same wage as permanent employees if they have been employed for six months at the same company.

Mr Leentjes also said that temporary workers play a crucial part in increasing the flexibility on the labour market and said that the industry is performing well when it can record growth rates of 2 to 4%. While many European countries experience skills shortages, he believes this is not necessarily a bad thing as it offers an opportunity to target growth.

Tomorrow the German Parliament is expected to debate a request from the opposition party, which has this week demanded to prohibit the use of temporary workers as they are regarded as exploited “second class employees.”

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