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18 January 2010
Ingrid Hofmann, Managing Director of Germany's tenth largest temporary employment group, I.K. Hofmann, has openly criticised the behaviour of drugstore chain Schlecker in terms of their abuse of temporary employment law. This is the first public comment on this issue from a leading manager in the temporary employment sector.
Schlecker bowed to political and public pressure last week and announced that they will no longer sack current permanent staff and then re-hire them via an in-house employment agency at half the pay.
Ingrid Hofmann told Wirtschaftswoche "temporary employment is not about making people work for half the pay. It is unacceptable that an employer evades minimum salaries by declaring his staff as temporary workers. This has something to do with [lack of] dignity."
Politicians, unions and temporary employment associations have all so far openly criticised Schlecker's behaviour but market leaders Randstad, Adecco and Manpower have remained silent.
Hofmann, who is also vice-president of the temporary employment association, (BZA) is aware that top industry managers have remained silent for too long on the subject. She said "this hasn't been noticed enough. There were more important subjects."
However, Hofmann fears that Schlecker's behaviour will leave a bitter after taste for the whole temporary employment industry. She said "what remains after the Schlecker debate is a massive image loss for the industry. An outsider to temporary employment has ruined the reputation of our sector as a whole."
"In future, temporary employment agencies must make sure that they are not associated with the bad practices of somebody who has nothing to do with temporary employment."