Even in the final days of Germany’s grand coalition, the further regulation of the labor market has repeatedly got pulses racing – both among supporters from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and trade unions, as well as those who wish to retain the (already narrowed) scope afforded to companies.
Now, during the German federal election campaign, the organization of the labor market is not being discussed one bit more objectively, as expected. The hot topics are unfounded fixed-term contracts and a legal entitlement to return to full-time employment after working part-time.
No to even more regulation
First things first: Even during the legislative period that is now quickly approaching its end, politicians have known only more direction – more bureaucracy and greater regulation of companies. Laws such as the most recent one on equal pay, however, will far more likely lead to people having to fill out more forms than to a change in the causes of disparate salary developments. The next German federal government should urgently consider giving businesses more room to breathe again.
“Further statutory restrictions to entrepreneurial freedom are not the way. This applies both to fixed-term contracts and to part-time and temporary employment.”
Instead, companies need more flexibility in order to compete successfully.
Fixed-term employment: A stepping stone into the labor market
As a point of reference: In the German chemical industry, not even every one in ten employees has a fixed-term contract.
A fraction of these are unfounded. However, the abolition of unfounded fixed-term employment contracts would be a step in the wrong direction, as it would further restrict companies’ flexibility.
I am also not sure whether the SPD, the Greens and The Left are aware of the consequences: Following an abolition of unfounded fixed-term employment, companies would not meet existing needs with employees on permanent contracts. Anyone who promises that during the election campaign is pulling the wool over people’s eyes.
One last figure: Almost 40% of employees in Germany with limited-term contacts are hired directly after as permanent employees. If this stepping stone into the labor market no longer exists, it will harm those who are looking for a job. This video shows how flexible employment benefits the labor market and thus also people: