Temporary employment 2018 – a sector in upheaval

Unlike the trend seen in the last few years, the industry is expecting turnover to fall by up to 65% in 2018. This will mean that the number of temporary employees will fall by almost 60,000,
according to a general estimate of the results of the reform of the Personnel Leasing Act (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) made by Ms Nahles of the SPD party. Ms Nahles, in turn, will devote her time to other important tasks within the coalition and, to the annoyance of companies and employees, this subject matter will not be resolved. The reform of the Personnel Leasing Act leaves many questions open and has therefore been fuelling a great deal of uncertainty in the market since mid-2017. Everyone agrees on this.
As before, the industry lacks an unequivocal definition of equal pay with a clear distinction made between whether only basic pay is included or whether all supplements should be included in the calculation. The same applies to other services such as tried and tested canteen subsidies, corporate daycare places, gym use or similar.
As a consequence of these uncertainties, clients tend to play it safe and dismiss temporary workers before the applicable nine-month deadline has elapsed. “We believe that over 50 per cent of our clients react in this way, and they cannot really be blamed for this” says Dr. Ralph Hartmann, Managing Director of HR7 GmbH. “That also means that not all companies are prepared to disclose their wage structures, which, however, is demanded by the lawmakers”, added Ralph Hartmann. As is so often the case, the dilemma lies in the fact that the legislation affects the weakest link in the chain – the employee. This means that the approach does not achieve the goal of the reform.
In addition, the prescribed written form requirement and the high level of documentation are criticised by industry representatives. According to current interpretation, digital documents are not sufficient to govern legally secure temporary employment. “These new regulations can be seen as far from practical, in that the industry still works on speed and flexibility”, explains Ralph Hartmann. The topic “Temporary employment” can fundamentally be perceived as a tool to make the labour factor more flexible but is also rendered much more difficult by the new regulations in Germany.Compared with the rest of the world, the industry is seen as far removed from the level of neighbouring countries as a result of the reform. In addition to this, Christian Lindner FDP is raising the profile of “Digitisation” in all the federal states and at the same time, the topic of paper and documentation is receiving extra focus in a ministry working alongside it. There is no other possible response to such a contradiction but to shake one’s head.