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Germany – Temporary worker law changes

17 July 2013

Germany’s federal labour court has ruled that companies may no longer recruit temporary staff for an “indeterminate period of time” nicht unbegrentz eingesetzt. The purpose of the ruling is to stop companies replacing more expensive permanent staff with cheaper temporary workers, thus preventing another Schlecker scandal.  

According to Detlef Wetzel, vice chairman of trade union IG Metall: “The ruling is good news and a great success in the fight against precarious employment in Germany; the replacement of permanent staffing with temporary workers has now been made much more difficult. Temporary work is again what it should be: an instrument used to overcome periods of peak work,”

According to IG Metall, the law is aimed at protecting temporary workers and prevent a split in the workforce; between a permanent skeleton staff and temporary plans. The duration of temporary contracts is still under debate, with further details not expected for several months. Previously, temporary recruitment could last up to two years, at which point the temporary employee was entitled to become a permanent member of staff. These restrictions were softened, during the economic crisis, to allow for more flexibility in the workforce.


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