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Germany – More pay surcharges come into force

02 April 2013

Three new industry surcharges came into force on 1 April. These sector-wide collective agreements, which were signed during the year 2012, apply to the textile and clothing industry, railway and transport, and the wood and plastics industry.

The new collective agreements are valid from 1 April 2013 and run to the end of December 2017. Employers say that, while this will may make the staffing industry more attractive to skilled workers, higher labour costs are inevitable.

The new provisions are similar to the existing collective agreements negotiated by IG Metall (metal and electrical industry) and IG BCE (chemical industry) that already came into force in 2012. Temporary workers in the railway and transports industry will see a surcharge of up to 14% to match salaries of the permanent staff of user businesses; while temporary employees in the clothing/textile industry will see their first surcharge of 5% come into effect six weeks after employment. Finally those in the wood and plastics sector will receive a +7% surcharge after the same period.

According to Rainer Wacker from IG Metall, "the calculation of the period of use by a client business also takes into account the breaks between successive assignments, as long as they are shorter than three months". Furthermore, temporary workers who have already worked for at least six weeks with the same client company operating within one of these three sectors will be eligible for the first pay-rise from Easter Monday.

Temporary staff will see the highest surcharge after nine months of employment although the increase varies between sectors: workers in the textile industry will be receiving a 25% surcharge, compared to 31% for wood and plastics sector workers.

"This will close the wage gap between the rates of temporary workers and that of comparable workers in the same user enterprise", explains Werner Stolz, CEO of the iGZ trade union. 


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