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Staffing companies in Germany have seen major changes with new collective agreements enforcing higher pay rates for temporary agency workers in a number of industries. The first pay increases came into effect last November, with experts warning employers of increased labour costs.
But Bastian Tau, the managing director of ZAG Personal & Perspektiven, one of the largest staffing companies in Germany, said closing the pay gap between temporary and permanent staff was a positive development which could help improve perceptions of the industry.
“We regard the possibility of significantly increasing wages as a positive thing for the reputation of our industry,” said Mr Tau. “The public has by now acknowledged that large staffing firms are safe employers with interesting career opportunities.”
His colleague Andreas Schmitz, who co-leads business operations, added: “Together with our customers and cooperate partners we will face the skills shortage in Germany. Temporary staffing is not only a spring board, but a solid form of employment. At the same time there are always opportunities [for workers] to be taken on by our client companies,” he said.
While acceptance of staffing companies in Germany is growing, labour market conditions have deteriorated over recent months. The latest figures show that the number of temporary agency workers dropped again in December 2012.
Recent surveys also indicated a mixed picture with nearly half of staffing companies planning to increase employment levels in the first half of 2013, compared to 39% who anticipate a decline.