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Germany – Job loss protection demanded for temporary agency staff

21 December 2012

The federal association of staffing firms (BAP) has once again demanded the German government to implement a short-time work programme in the staffing industry which could save agency workers from falling into unemployment.

The scheme, known as Kurzarbeit in German, has proved successful in the recent recession and helped companies from laying off staff. Under Kurzarbeit, the State compensates up to 67% of an employee’s net salary if an employer has to cut back on wage cost and working times during an economic slowdown.

The association said politicians needed to introduce regulations to make short-time work available to temporary staff, after the government failed to listen to demands by both unions and employers to make the scheme accessible.

“Temporary agency workers are to be granted short-time work allowances under conditions that apply to all other employees. This provides an opportunity to save jobs in the staffing industry when order numbers plummet,” said the association.

On Thursday, president of BAP, Volker Enkerts, said that temporary agency workers must no longer be excluded from receiving such benefits. He said it is not justifiable to treat temporary employees differently from other staff.

“Temporary agency workers need as much protections in times of crises as all other employees,” he said. 

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