After lengthy negotiations, the German parties SPD and CDU have reached an agreement on legal changes in the meat industry. This tightening of the law was justified by the conditions in the meat industry that became apparent during the corona pandemic. According to this agreement, wages were too low, workers lived in inadequate accommodations and worked too many hours.
Cases have repeatedly come to light in which high infection rates among temporary workers in the meat industry have led to plant shutdowns and restrictions for the population.
Ban on temporary work contracts in the meat industry in Germany
Now an agreement has been reached: It stipulates that a ban on temporary work contracts in the meat industry is to take effect as soon as January 1, 2021.
From April 1, 2021, the use of labor leasing will also be prohibited. The ban on temporary work will probably be limited to slaughtering and dismembering. In addition, exceptions from the use of temporary workers are provided if they are only employed for meat processing. Further, the temporary workers must be subject to collective bargaining agreements and treated equally to the permanent staff. Furthermore, they can only be employed for a maximum of four months.
The accommodation of staff in shared accommodation is to be improved as well. However, exceptions are possible, for example for companies with a maximum of 49 employees.
Penalties for violations
Anyone who fails to comply with the new regulations must expect severe penalties. For example, a fine of up to EUR 30,000 is to be imposed for violations of the maximum working hours.
We support companies with temporary work and labor leasing contracts
The German meat industry will be significantly affected by the proposed changes. Entrepreneurs working in this sector should check whether they can implement all the provisions of the new law in order to be able to maintain future operations in accordance with the law. We will be happy to advise you on all aspects of temporary work and the use of external personnel and ensure that your use of labor leasing contracts and temporary work is regulated in line with the law. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.