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Germany – More temps unhappy about their private and professional lives

13 March 2012

An increase of temporary employment leads to a loss in motivation as temporary workers are “disillusioned” about the economy according to new research published in Germany. Only a quarter of temporary employees said they were happy with the German economy, compared to 42% of those in full-time jobs.

A study of over 1,600 employees carried out on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation found that temporary workers would be less likely to vote in federal elections than permanent employees. Interestingly, almost 20% of temps are inclined to vote for the left-wing party Die Linke (compared to 8.6% of permanent employees) although this party has last week demanded the abolition of temporary employment in Germany. But after a parliamentary debate on Friday last week, it has come to light that no other major party in Germany would support the party’s request as other members of the German Parliament accused the party of producing a “distorted picture” of the labour market in the country.

Many temporary workers (58%) also perceive German society to be “very” or “quite” unfair, compared to 36% of those in regular employment. Two thirds of those questioned believe that the current economic system does not reward individual achievements, something that is also shared by half of permanent employees.

The study indicates that those in so-called “precarious” employment are less likely to identify themselves with the company they work for as 55% of temporary workers are not particularly proud of team successes, compared to 75% of those in full-time employment. Perhaps it then comes as less of a surprise that 49% of those in atypical employment would continue working for their current firm, compared to 71% of permanent employees.

24% of temporary workers are also said to be unhappy about their professional lives while 10% were also dissatisfied with their private lives, this compares to 4% of permanent employees. Despite all the doom and gloom, almost half of those questioned temps said they believed in improving their current situation within a year.

“A central challenge for companies is finding the right balance between managerial flexibility and contractual working conditions. Because of the increase in atypical employment, a loss of motivation in companies is imminent,” said Martin Spilker of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Today it was also revealed that the number of temporary workers in Germany is expected to grow by +11% in 2012, exceeding the one million mark, according to Handelsblatt.

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an international think tank that addresses social issues.

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