Temporary employment and collective bargaining agreement: What to bear in mind

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Two particularly important legal documents in the area of temporary employment are undoubtedly the employee leasing agreement and the collective bargaining agreement. But what needs to be considered and how are the two actually related? We at Arbeitswelt Personaldienstleistung GmbH & Co. KG are your experts on personnel issues in the Hamburg, Troisdorf, Nordhorn, Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven region and can provide you with all the details on the crucial legal regulations.

Temporary employment and collective bargaining agreements: a brief explanation

Basically, one can always speak of employee leasing when an employee is leased by an employer (temporary employment agency) to a third party (hirer) for a defined period of time and in return for corresponding remuneration. The legal basis for this in Germany is the so-called Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz, or AÜG for short.

The largest collective bargaining agreement in the temporary employment sector was concluded between the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB) and the Federal Employers' Association of Personnel Service Providers (BAP). It is made up of the framework agreement, the pay framework agreement and the pay agreement. Among other things, it sets out regulations on working conditions:

  • Remuneration groups, wages and salaries
  • duration of weekly working hours
  • payment of bonuses and allowances
  • Duration of vacation
  • continued payment of wages in the event of illness

Temporary employment grants equal pay - with one exception

An important regulation on the connection between collective agreements and temporary employment is found in Section 8 of the German Temporary Employment Act (AÜG). According to this, temporary workers are entitled to the same working conditions/wages as the employees of the employing company. This means that collective bargaining agreements are also binding for the temporary employment agency.

However, this so-called equal pay and equal treatment principle does not always apply. Indeed, an exception to this is to be made if an effective collective agreement such as the above-mentioned exists between the lender and the temporary workers in accordance with Section 8 (2) AÜG and employment has been agreed in accordance with these conditions.

Employee leasing prescribes conditions for collective bargaining agreement

However, in order for the separate collective agreement to be observed, the employee leasing regulations in §3a Par. 2 stipulate, among other things, a minimum hourly wage. Otherwise, the temporary employment agency would have to pay the temporary worker the same hourly wage.

However, even in the event that the collectively agreed wage for the temporary worker differs from the hourly wage in the hirer's company, there is equalization from a certain point in time. Section 8 of the German Temporary Employment Act (AÜG) provides for equal treatment after nine months, provided that an industry-specific collective agreement does not provide for a deviation over a longer period of time up to a maximum of 15 months.

Tip: Pay attention to the reference to the collective agreement

As an employer, it is definitely advisable to ensure an explicit, complete reference to the collective agreement when drafting the employment contract. This is because only if the principles of collective bargaining law are observed in the employment contract does the employee leasing agreement permit any deviation from the principle of equal treatment. Otherwise, the employee would have the aforementioned claim to equal pay. For you as a temporary worker, too, it would seem to make sense to check whether and to what extent the employment contract complies with the collective bargaining agreement.

Conclusion: Knowledge of the collective agreement is not sufficient

The most important connections between temporary employment and collective bargaining agreements mentioned here show that it is often not sufficient to know only the collective bargaining agreement. Due to the overriding regulations of the AÜG, exceptions are always mentioned here, depending on the individual case, which both employers and temporary workers should ideally be aware of. We stand for the observance of both legal requirements and will be happy to advise you on further questions regarding the interrelationships.

Would you like to learn more about temporary staffing in Hamburg? Then feel free to contact us with any questions!