Work: A good 60 percent of all new hires in the civil service temporary

An employers' association railed: "Why may the civil service be limited to your whim?" In fact, there is less in the private sector.


By Henrike Roßbach, Berlin

The stumbling block found on page 52 of the coalition agreement: "We want to abolish the abuse in the fixed-term," promise Union and SPD there. "That's why employers with more than 75 employees are only allowed to limit a maximum of 2.5 percent of the workforce without any reason." A "time-limited" is a time limit, which does not serve the bridging of parental leave, illness or the like; An uncertain order situation, for example, does not allow labor courts to be the cause.

Which would have arrived at the center of a conflict, which should provide in the near future for thick air between business and federal government. After the Federal Association of Employers 'Associations (BDA) last week has resisted a tightening of the time-limit rules, now also the employers' association Gesamtmetall in position. "The non-essential time limit must not be limited," said General Metal President Rainer Dulger on Tuesday in Berlin. The economic climate is deteriorating, "companies need more flexibility in such times, not less".

In order to substantiate its own position, Gesamtmetall has commissioned three reports: on the personnel planning, constitutional and labor law aspects of the tightening. It is well known that contract reports seldom or never come up with results that completely contradict the interests of the clients. Nevertheless, there are interesting points in the overall metal report. For example, the threshold of more than 75 employees "raises constitutional concerns," said Markus Stoffels, a law professor at the University of Heidelberg, pointing to the "unequal treatment of similar issues". Employment lawyer Richard Giesen from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München also pointed out that companies had virtually no opportunity to resort to a time limit "with a material reason". Its application in the private sector is "practically excluded". Above all, the economy is annoyed that stricter rules are to be applied to them, although the phenomenon of public-sector time-limits is more widespread. Dulger pointed out that in the civil service almost every tenth employee is employed for a limited period of time, whereas in the metalworking and electronics industry only four percent are employed. "So why should a quota of 2.5 percent be introduced in the private sector, while the civil service can continue to be limited to whim?"

That the public service more frequently limited, also confirms the response of the Federal Government to a request of the Left Bundestag member Susanne Ferschl, the SZ is present. According to this, about 390,000 civil servants (9.5 percent) were employed on a fixed-term basis in 2017. In the private sector, on the other hand, only 7.1% had been employed for a limited period of time with 2.1 million employees. In the civil service, the fixed-term share in 2017 was as high as ten years earlier, in the private sector 1.2 percentage points higher. However, the proportion of new hires in the civil service is high: in 2017, it was 61 percent, only one in four was taken over indefinitely thereafter. In the private sector, however, only 40 percent of new hires were temporary, and 46 percent were taken. "The acquisition into a permanent employment relationship is like a lottery game," said Ferschel; Unfounded time limits should be abolished both in the private sector and in the civil service.

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