Temporary work is a job engine of the German labour market. Two thirds of temporary workers have been given the chance to overcome unemployment through temporary work. Almost 20 % of temporary workers were previously unemployed for a year or more or even without prior employment. The alternative to temporary work for these workers would be to remain unemployed. The sector thus makes a significant contribution to reducing unemployment and fulfils a bridging function. This will also be evident again when the economy ramps up after the Corona crisis.
Temporary work is indispensable for a dynamic labour market in which macroeconomic growth should quickly lead to a noticeable increase in employment. But it also creates competitiveness in economically difficult times: it gives companies the necessary flexibility in their personnel policy and enables them to secure permanent jobs. Temporary work does not replace permanent staff, but creates additional employment opportunities. Temporary work is regular, full-fledged employment subject to social insurance contributions. Current figures from the Federal Employment Agency show that almost 95% of all temporary workers are employed subject to social insurance contributions, and almost 80% work full-time. It goes without saying that all labour and collective bargaining law applies to the employment relationships.
Furthermore, the applicable German law already complies with the strict European requirements; it even goes beyond them in part. For example, in Germany the entire law on fixed-term contracts applies to temporary employment. This is not mandatory according to a decision of the European Court of Justice.
Temporary work is an employment driver
Companies that would otherwise forego new employment, the use of temporary workers enables them to build up employment already at the beginning of the upswing and to quickly adjust production to the order situation despite the economic uncertainties. Contrary to the impression created in the public debate that temporary work is a mass phenomenon, the number of temporary workers in Germany is just under 2.3 % of all employed persons. In a European comparison, Germany is thus in the middle of the field. The topic of training and qualification is of great importance for temporary employment agencies. The industry thus makes an important contribution to overcoming the shortage of skilled workers.
AÜG Amendment 2017
Fundamental new regulations in the Temporary Employment Act (AÜG) came into force in 2017. In Section 1 (1b) AUG, a statutory employee-related maximum temporary employment period of 18 months was introduced, which can be deviated from by means of collective agreements in the industry of deployment. The protection of collective bargaining autonomy in the amendment to the AÜG is also reflected in the regulations on equal pay. Pursuant to Section 8 (4) sentence 2 no. 1 AUG, a longer deviation from Equal Pay than nine months is permissible, inter alia, if after 15 months at the latest of a temporary assignment to an assignment company at least a wage is achieved which is defined in the collective agreement as equivalent to the collectively agreed wage of comparable employees in the assignment industry.