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Good work in temporary agency work

Are you employed in temporary work? Then special rules apply to you. And you have many rights you should know about. Here we explain the most important ones.


What is temporary agency work?
Normally, you have an employment relationship directly with the company where you work. Temporary agency work, on the other hand, is a triangular relationship between a worker and two companies: a hiring company and a user company. Temporary agency workers are employed and paid by the user company. However, the temporary agency places them at the disposal of the user company for a certain period of time. The temporary workers then work there.


You do have rights!
Do you earn less money than your permanent colleagues? Are you not working in your trained profession? Have you ever been deregistered from a user company? Was your assignment there terminated and you were directly dismissed? Many temporary agency workers have already experienced this. But it doesn't have to be like that: temporary workers have rights! 
For example, they are entitled to more than 20 days of paid annual leave, they can take sick leave without having the sick days deducted from their pay or holiday entitlements, they get annual bonuses (holiday pay and Christmas bonus) and an additional payment on top of both if they are a union member.
You are entitled to these things and can enforce them against your employer. And what if there are problems with the employer? Temporary agency workers are entitled to go to the works council at both their temporary employment agency and the user company where they are employed and ask for help. And of course they are allowed to be supported by a trade union like IG Metall if they are members.


This is what works councils do in Germany
Works councils are elected by the whole workforce in a company and lobby for the interests of workers at the company level. Most works councils in Germany work closely with the trade union responsible for the industry. Works councils and trade unions have different tasks: Works councils are not allowed to make agreements on pay, the number of annual leave days, shift bonuses and the like. In Germany, only trade unions can negotiate these things in collective agreements.


This is what trade unions do in Germany
Trade unions stand up for fair pay, better working conditions and more worker participation. To this end, they conclude collective agreements with employers. They also represent the individual interests of each member in matters of labour and social law.
In Germany, trade unions are organised along industry lines, not political lines. You join the union that is responsible for your branch. IG Metall represents workers in the following sectors: Metal and electrical industry, metal extraction, iron and steel producing industry, metal craft and related industries, craft and service industries; textile and clothing industry; woodworking, wood processing and plastics processing as well as the IT industry.


IG Metall is there for you
Temporary agency work is widespread in IG Metall branches. And often temporary workers are treated like second-class employees. This is disrespectful and unacceptable. Many agency workers fight against this injustice and find support from their trade union, IG Metall. We are fighting together to make agency work fairer and more equitable. We want you to be treated properly and respectfully in the company!
If you want to help shape your working conditions or are dissatisfied with conditions in your company, join IG Metall. You can become a member directly online or by submitting a membership application in your language. You can also contact your IG Metall representatives in your company or your local IG Metall office directly.


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