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Germany — OECD highlights the lack of employment protection for temporary workers

13 January 2010

The scandal of the abuse of temporary employment legislation by Europe's largest drugstore chain Schlecker has started discussions in Germany and further afield at all levels.

Schlecker have now bowed to massive political and public pressure by announcing earlier this week that they will no longer hire staff from in-house temporary employment agency Meniar. This will end the practice of sacking permanent staff and re-hiring them as temporary employees on a vastly reduced salary.

However, unions insist that Schlecker is not the only German company, which has an in-house temporary employment agency for salary reduction purposes.

The German spokesman for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Matthias Rumpf, told German daily Frankfurter Rundschau in an interview that "Germany stands out internationally because of its two class society. The OECD indicator shows that when it comes to protection against wrongful dismissal for permanent staff, Germany is among the three member states with the highest levels of protection."

"When it comes to temporary employees and contract workers, Germany is among the 30 OECD member states with the lowest levels of protection."

The low level of protection against wrongful dismissal for temporary employees and contract workers has resulted in massive job losses at the beginning of the economic crisis for that group of workers because making permanent staff redundant is extremely expensive in Germany.

Herr Rumpf went on to say "workers who do not have a permanent work contract in Germany are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis much more than in other countries."



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