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Germany – Tighter temporary staffing regulation “possible” in election campaign

20 July 2012

When Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced this week that she is no longer planning to implement tighter regulations for the temporary staffing industry, her political statement was quickly criticised by dissident voices.

Among them, the Christian Democratic Employees' Association (CDA), an association with strong links to Angela Merkel’s party the CDU. The CDA is urging for more action although the chairman admitted that major collective agreements reached this year to increase pay for temporary workers had done “a lot of positive things” in some sectors.

Karl-Josef Laumann, leader of the CDA, said “only a part of the temporary staffing industry is covered” by the new agreements, which are due to start in November this year. The politician told the Saarbrücker Zeitung that the industry had to exhaust its bargaining capacities. He said nationwide regulations on temporary employment could even become part of the political campaign for the upcoming Bundestag election next year.

The Labour Minister warned this week that temporary labour must not be over-regulated. In a newspaper interview she said that recent collective agreements had significantly improved the situation for temporary workers and rejected plans to introduce nationwide regulations. Ms Von der Leyen praised the bargaining parties of the temporary staffing industry for having adjusted the pay rates for temporary workers this year, particularly in the metal/ electrical and the chemical industry.

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