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Germany — Upper House asks government to put a stop to the abuse of temporary employees

07 April 2010

The recent highly publicised so-called 'Schlecker Scandal' where Europe's largest drugstore chain was accused of replacing permanent employees with temporary employees hired via a closely related staffing agency called Meniar, is refusing to die down.

Following pressure from both politicians and the public in general, Schlecker has promised to stop the practice of dismissing permanent personnel and re-hiring them as temporary personnel at far worse conditions and much lesser pay.

The Upper House of Parliament (Bundesrat) has officially asked Angela Merkel's government to come up with proposals on how the abuse of temporary employment in Germany can in future be avoided, Ad Hoc News reports.
Working and pay conditions in Germany are decided by sector-specific collective bargaining between employer organisations and unions. Temporary employment is regarded as its own sector with several unions and three employer organisations, which in the past have refused to collaborate.

Employment Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, prefers not to interfere in collective bargaining processes but has indicated that if self-regulation does not work in the temporary employment sector, the government will get involved.

The Upper House of Parliament says in a statement that they are generally in favour of temporary employment but reject the replacement of permanent staff with temporary staff [at worse conditions].

The Upper House representatives for the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen and the Rhineland-Palatinate (governed by the opposition Socialist Party) are pushing for the 'equal work, equal pay without exemption' concept for temporary employees after a short trial period.



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