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The new collective bargaining agreements in the German staffing industry are set to increase pay rates in the metal and electrical, and the chemical sectors this autumn – but this is causing uncertainty and “horror” in the market, according to the managing director of ManpowerGroup Germany.
In an interview with Frankfurter Rundschau, Vera Calasan said that both staffing buyers and employees are uncertain about what lies ahead.
She said that the new regulations are a “horror” for managing payroll. The new wage groups that are part of the bargaining agreements are making things extremely complex, she said.
“Apart from [such] difficulties, our clients are most affected. The hiring firms do not yet know what impact the new regulations will have on increasing labour costs,” Ms Calasan said.
“We will have to wait and see. It is not impossible for some companies to move their production lines abroad. Poland and the Czech Republic are after all nearby and have good infrastructures. These countries also have highly-qualified workers who are paid much lower wages than [in Germany].”
But she said that the pay rise will bring many financial benefits for workers, particularly skilled staff.
Unskilled workers, she said, are going to struggle and will “suffer the most” from the new pay rates. According to her, companies are likely to replace unskilled workers after a short time in order to avoid higher salaries, which only have to be paid once a worker has been with a hiring firm for a certain amount of time.
She also said that the temporary staffing industry in Germany has suffered from a bad image, particularly through a few high-profile scandals that have exposed wage dumping in the market. Ms Calasan said she was “tired” of always having to defend temporary employment in the country. “You can give so many good examples and argue as much as you want, but it won’t help,” she said.