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Germany – "We must not over-regulate temporary staffing", Minister warns

18 July 2012

After many negotiations and political campaigns, unions in Germany will have to back down as the Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen confirmed there is no further need to introduce nationwide regulations in achieving equal treatment for temporary agency workers. 

The Labour Minster argued that recent collective agreements had already significantly improved the situation for temporary workers, she told the German newspaper Handelsblatt today. She also rejected plans to introduce restrictions on the use of agency workers, which would have controlled the duration contingent staff may be used for. The Minister was clear on the matter and said “we must not over-regulate temporary staffing.”

Several unions in the country had called for tighter regulations regarding the temporary staffing market and demanded clear legal clauses on the use of agency workers. However, Ms Von der Leyen said she greatly respected the bargaining parties of the temporary staffing industry for having already adjusted the pay rates for temporary workers this year, particularly in the metal and electrical as well as the chemical industry.

The Labour Minister assessed the situation this week at a summit talk with unions and employers and is planning further top-level talks in November to monitor the developments in the industry. 

Last year she had warned the bargaining parties to come to an agreement over the equal pay of temporary workers, threatening with national laws should the negotiations have failed.

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