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Germany – Faster access to unemployment benefits for temporary workers

28 December 2012

BAP, the German staffing association, has suggested that any simplification of access to unemployment benefits for fixed-term contract workers should also include temporary workers.

In a recent announcement, the chairman of the Federal Employment Agency (‘Bundesagentur für Arbeit’ or ‘BA’), Frank-Jürgen Weise, indicated that the agency is considering easing the conditions necessary for access to unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld I, or Alg I) for short-term contract and seasonal workers. The announcement was welcomed by Volker Enkerts, president of the BAP): "The BAP strongly supports the proposal to provide faster access to Alg I benefits to contract and seasonal workers. This would vastly improve the perception of fixed-term contract work, which is a major asset to a well-functioning labour market. In the current situation, to be eligible for Alg I unemployment benefits workers must justify at least twelve months of employment and contribution to social insurance over the past two years. If the threshold was brought down to six months then seasonal workers would also be eligible.”

Enkerts adds: “it is only fair to allow dismissed temporary workers to be able to access Alg I unemployment benefits under the same conditions. This would increase the attractiveness of temporary staffing for workers and employers. Therefore we urge the BA to consider including temporary workers in any proposal for a new regime applicable to seasonal workers. "

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