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Germany – One in three temporary workers on unemployment benefits

05 January 2012

More and more temporary workers find themselves on unemployment benefits in Germany although there has been a strong demand for agency staff and temporary workers. Since May 2009, the number of people in part-time employment has overall increased by 6% whereas the number of temporary workers has drastically risen by 52%. 

While the contingency workforce has experienced a boom in the country, temporary workers are more vulnerable in times of economic distress and are more likely to go from phases of employment to phases of unemployment. Thus one in three temporary workers were on unemployment benefits last year, according to the German economist Gerhard Bosch who told IG Metall, one of Germany’s dominant trade unions, that “contract workers are on-call workers who are only booked if needed. Phases of employment and unemployment are typical.  About a third of all unemployed people on unemployment benefits were contract workers last year.” 

This news comes after a regional newspaper in Germany, Bocholter Borkener Volksblatt, has today reported that around 1,000 German temporary workers who commuted into the Netherlands for work have lost their jobs in December 2011. Hence these workers immediately slipped into the supply of German unemployment benefits. According to Dutch labour regulations, temporary workers have the right to become full-time employees after one and a half years, a legislation some Dutch firms bypass by making temporary workers redundant to save costs. 

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