The employers' association and the metalworkers' union
IG Metall agreed on 19 May 2012 on a new collective agreement for
the metal and electrical industry in the pilot district of
Baden-Württemberg. The wage agreement is to be assumed at a
national level and provides in particular for a retroactive wage
increase as per 1 May 2012 of 4.3% with a term of 13 months.
However, it is the provisions on temporary agency workers
contained in the pilot wage agreement that are worthy of particular
mention. Pursuant to the new collective agreement, temporary agency
workers may only be employed at the same business for a period of
18 months without further limitation. After such time, the hiring
company must examine the possibility of employing the temporary
agency in an indefinite employment relationship. After 24 months,
the hiring firm is even obliged to make an offer to take on the
worker. The collective agreement itself does not stipulate the time
as of which these periods regulated therein t are to be calculated,
i.e. whether insofar they are to be calculated as of the time of
first hiring the temporary agency worker at the business or as of
the time of the wage agreement. Hence, this remains unclear.
Pursuant to the collective agreement, there shall only be an
exception to the obligation to take on the temporary agency work if
material reasons, e.g. project work or representation of absent
employees – justify a lengthier term of employment at the
Companies can deviate from these basic rules without the consent
of the parties to the collective agreement if they have the
approval of their works council, i.e. in such case a voluntary shop
agreement would suppress the collectively agreed provisions. Such
voluntary shop agreement can regulate the following points
concerning the use of temporary agency workers in the business:
designated purposes of the use of temporary agency workers, areas
in which they are to be used, volumes of temporary work, amount of
remuneration of temporary agency workers, which shall be agreed in
personnel leasing contracts, maximum hiring term and provisions on
taking on temporary agency workers on a permanent employment
If the hiring firm already has a shop agreement on the use of
temporary workers prior to the conclusion of the collective
agreement, this will continue to apply and have precedence over the
new collective regulation. However, as in all other cases, the
existing shop agreement can naturally also be terminated to the
Although the aforementioned provisions initially only relate to
a pilot wage agreement for the metal and electrical industry in the
district of Baden-Württemberg, since this is to be assumed
nationally, however, hiring firms in this branch in other districts
should as a precautionary measure examine their existing provisions
on temporary agency work and, where necessary, take this
opportunity to conclude a voluntary shop agreement on the subject
of temporary agency work with their works council.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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