Temporary Agency Workers in Germany

German Employment Lawyers

Temporary Agency Workers in Germany

German Employment Lawyers

The use of temporary agency workers has become increasingly common in today’s workforce. Temporary agency workers (TAWs) provide flexible and cost-effective staffing solutions, however, the employment of TAWs can also give rise to a range of complex legal issues. These issues range from navigating the complicated employment relationship between the parties, assessing contractual obligations and ensuring that the TAW is not subject to discrimination or harassment.

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our German employment team are here to support temporary agency workers and employers in such cases. We understand the unique challenges and risks involved in temporary agency work and are committed to helping our clients navigate these issues with confidence. Whether you are an employer seeking to engage temporary agency workers or a worker looking to protect your rights and interests in this type of employment relationship, our employment lawyers are here to help.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us directly for expert legal assistance.

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Legal Matters concerning Temporary Agency Workers

Companies need to be aware of a range of complex legal issues when employing temporary agency workers and they impact all aspects of their employment. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our legal experts advise our clients on all these matters and much more.

Firstly, companies that engage temporary agency workers must comply with a range of labour and employment laws, including minimum wage laws, working time regulations, and health and safety requirements. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal liability and reputational damage.

There are a number of laws in the field that govern the rights of employees in Germany and these apply to temporary agency workers as well as to more regular employees. Employment notice periods are governed by § 622 BGB while temporary agency workers further benefit from the Protection Against Unfair Dismissal Act. However, when it comes to the specifics of temporary agency work, the employee has their protections outlined in the Temporary Agency Worker Act.

The Temporary Agency Worker Act outlines the regulations in place for when a temporary agency working relationship is deemed invalid, for equality for agency workers and regular employees and in relation to the employment of foreign temporary agency workers. Usually, a temporary agency worker is employed by the agency and hired out to the third party companies. In this arrangement, the worker has the same rights as other employees and their agency is responsible for ensuring that they are treated accordingly. Such employment rights include notice periods, protection against unfair dismissal and so forth.

These are just a few of the complex legal issues that can arise with temporary agency workers in companies, and it is important to seek expert legal advice to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Contractual Matters and Employment Relationships

Contractual arrangements are another complex matter under German law. All parties involved, including the temporary agency, the employer, and the worker, must be clear on their rights and obligations. In practice, this consists of determining the assignment’s duration, the payment of wages and benefits, and the termination of the assignment.

The agency is also responsible for linking the worker with the hiring company. Usually, they ensure the temporary worker is paid correctly and that the appropriate deductions are made concerning taxes and health insurance. However, the hiring company is the one that should ensure the working environment is a safe place to work.

In the event of a workplace accident or injury, it can be challenging to determine who is liable for any damages. This can be particularly complex for temporary agency workers, as multiple parties may be involved in the employment relationship.

Under § 1b Temporary Workers Act, there are limitations for temporary workers within the construction industry. In this regard, hiring such workers in more administrative roles is not prohibited, but it is often not permitted in the more traditional forms of construction work. The meaning of the construction industry is defined in § 101 Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB) Drittes Buch and outlines such businesses to be those that commercially provide construction services on the construction market. Construction services under this Act refer to the “construction, repair, maintenance, modification or removal of buildings”.

Hiring Company Responsibilities

Temporary agency workers are entitled to the same protections against discrimination and harassment as regular employees. Employers must ensure that they are not subjected to unlawful treatment based on race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics.

§ 9 Temporary Workers’ Act outlines several prohibitions on actions that the hiring company can take. The contract by the hiring company should precisely outline what is required of the temporary worker they are hiring. While working with the hiring company, the temporary worker should be treated fairly and integrated into the company § 13b AÜG

outlines this in greater detail, providing examples such as entitlements to use childcare facilities and catering services within the company facilities.

Under § 8 AÜG, they are also entitled to fair pay, and should the worker be at the company for 15 months or more, they are entitled to the same pay rate as full employees working in their position. Other actions deemed illegal include arrangements where the temporary worker has to pay a placement fee to be part of the hiring company. Under § 13a AÜG, the hiring company must inform the worker if there are vacancies in their firm.


The Rights of Temporary Agency Workers in Germany

Temporary agency workers in Germany have a wide range of rights under Germany that are designed to protect them from exploitation and discrimination. Firstly, they are entitled to equal treatment with permanent employees regarding pay, working hours, overtime, and other conditions. Therefore, they must receive the same pay and benefits as permanent employees for doing the same job.

Similarly, they are entitled to the same health and safety protections as permanent employees, and employers must ensure their working conditions are safe and healthy. Such steps involve monitoring working conditions to ensure they are safe and healthy and addressing any health and safety concerns.

Temporary agency workers are protected from discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics. Employers must take steps to ensure that they are not subjected to any unlawful treatment. Employers can do this by designing clear policies and procedures for temporary agency workers and regarding discrimination generally. They can also consider providing training and education to all employees who work with temporary agency workers, including managers, supervisors, and HR personnel.

Employers should also consider providing mechanisms for temporary agency workers to raise concerns or complaints. Having such structures and clearly outlining how they should use them can help to ensure that any issues remain internal. These methods should be designed to ensure that concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.

Our Services: Advice to Employers regarding Compliance with German Law

As a full-service law firm with certified experts in German employment law, Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte is here to support employers around Germany in matters relating to temporary agency workers. We understand the complex challenges and are ready to advise employers regarding their legal obligations. Our lawyers will outline the requirements relating to licensing, equal treatment obligations, the maximum duration of assignments and health and safety. We can provide your company with ongoing support and outline where there have been changes and updates in the law.

Our team also advises in matters of regular compliance audits and training. Employers need to consider regular compliance audits to ensure they meet their obligations. This step can involve reviewing contracts, payroll records, and other relevant documentation and conducting interviews with workers and managers to identify potential compliance issues. There should be precise mechanisms by which employees, and temporary employees, can outline their grievances.

Our lawyers support employers with employee and management training. Employers need to consider training their managers, supervisors and HR personnel in matters relating to temporary workers to ensure they are aware of their legal obligations and the risks involved with non-compliance.

Employers must act responsibly and investigate matters if temporary workers raise concerns regarding discrimination. It may not be evident to the employer that they are engaging in discriminatory practices, but if they are, it can lead to significant legal difficulties for them in the future.

Our Services for Temporary Agency Workers

Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte also offers advice, support and representation to temporary agency workers. We provide leading legal advice to temporary workers on their rights and obligations under German employment law, including matters relating to working time regulations, pay and benefits, discrimination, and health and safety. It is essential to consult with a lawyer if you believe your rights have been infringed in these areas to ensure that you can level the playing field in legal disputes.

Our team also reviews work contracts to ensure they comply with relevant laws and regulations. Employment contracts for temporary workers can be complex matters due to the different parties involved with the employment, and therefore, advice on contractual rights and obligations can prove to be vital. By clearly understanding the contract, temporary employees will have a clearer understanding of how they should proceed during disputes.

On the matter of disputes, our team is available to resolve complicated disputes relating to pay, working conditions, discrimination, bullying and employment termination. Our lawyers advise clients on dispute resolution mechanisms, including litigation, negotiation, out-of-court settlements and arbitration. The right dispute resolution mechanism will depend on many circumstances, particularly the nature and strength of the case. Should the matter be brought before the court, our team consists of experienced litigators who will be ready to defend and support you at the labour court.

Overall, Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte offer temporary workers full-service legal support to protect their rights and ensure they are treated fairly in the workplace.

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