On May 19, a new agreement was signed between employers and the union.
The key points are:
- From May 1st 2012 on, the wages will be increased by 4.3 per cent. The agreement covers a span of 13 months and ends on April 30th, 2013.
- According to the agreement, temporary workers can be used without additional restrictions for up to 18 months. After that time, the company has to check whether a full-time position in the company can be offered. After 24 months, a full-time position must be offered. Exceptions are allowed if there are valid reasons for a longer period of temporary work– for example in cases of extended project work or maternity leave replacements. This general rule can be replaced by a company agreement, between management and workers council alone. This company agreement supersedes all other regulations. By a company agreement, further restrictions for temporary work can be agreed upon. However, any loss of flexibility has to be balanced by increasing internal flexibility – for example, by increasing the quota of employees allowed to work longer hours In Western Germany, the weekly working time (wwt) is 35 hours. Up to 18 per cent of the employees can have an individual contract with a standard wwt of up to 40 hours. This quota may be extended to 30 per cent., or by adding 750 hours to the collective working hours of the entire staff for every temp worker who changes into a full employment position within the company.
- Unions and Employers recommend to offer all young workers who have finished an apprenticeship a permanent position. However, the employer is only obliged to do it for positions that actually need to be filled. The employer can define the company’s personnel requirements in two ways: 6 months before the end of the 3 to 3 ½ year apprenticeship, the employer defines which and how many positions need to be filled and informs the workers council about that. These positions will be filled by finished apprentices who will be offered unlimited contracts. All other finished apprentices receive fixed-term contract of 12 months. The alternative is a company agreement between management and workers council, in which the personnel need is agreed upon before the beginning of an apprenticeship period. In that case, all those additionally getting an apprenticeship don’t have to be offered a contract upon finishing, not even for 12 months.
For more detailed information about the agreement 2012, please see this PDF document