Evaluation of the Temporary Employment Act (AÜG)

The Temporary Employment Act regulates the hiring of employees through recruitment agencies to employers, within an economic activity. The most recent amendment in April 2017 focused on leasing times and remuneration, particularly the so called „equal pay“ for temporary agency workers. Lawmakers pursued several different goals with the reform. Temporary agency work should be focused on its core functions, such as the short-term hiring-out of employees to deal with peaks in orders. The position of temporary agency workers should be improved, particularly regarding wages, but also in terms of job opportunities in the non-temporary labour market. Collective bargaining should be strengthened by allowing social partners to bargain within certain parameters, for instance, the maximum duration of employee leasing and equal pay.

This report presents the results of the mandatory evaluation of the reform of the Temporary Agency Work Act. It aims to examine the effectiveness of the new regulations based on empirical data and the scientific method. In particular, it compares and evaluates the situation concerning temporary agency work before the new regulations came into effect and the situation after the reform. The perspectives of the actors involved in temporary agency work (i.e., temporary workers, employment agencies, customer firms, and other institutions) were comprehensively studied using extensive quantitative and qualitative surveys. The evaluation then analysed numerous research questions using these surveys as well as secondary data.

In general, the results show that the objectives of the reform have only been partly realised because they conflicted with each other. While many of the stakeholders involved considered the intentions of the lawmakers to have been fundamentally reasonable, certain regulations and their implementation were assessed as being too complex and of limited effectiveness. Many stakeholders believe there is a need for further improvement in two important areas, that is, the maximum duration of leasing and equal pay. Overall, only a limited number of individuals and firms have been affected by the new regulations, which explains the relatively small scope of effects found in the analysis. In sum, the effects of the reform – whether desirable or otherwise – have been rather marginal.

Report (in German)

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Contact Person:
Dr. Andreas Koch ( +49 7071 9896 12 // E-Mail )


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