News on Labour Market

The number of short-time work notices in the mechanical engineering industry has risen to a record level. Now, labour market policy must not now put an unnecessary burden on companies and the social security system.
Quarantine measures for entering and returning to Germany vary from one federal state to another. This could bring more friction into production in Europe. The VDMA demands a 5-day regulation that is valid everywhere.
The mechanical engineering industry is increasingly feeling the consequences of the Corona pandemic. A fourth VDMA survey, which was answered by 724 member companies, paints an oppressive picture.
The extension of the short-time working benefits meets an important requirement of the VDMA, which will provide noticeable relief and planning security for small and medium-sized companies.
The mechanical engineering industry is increasingly feeling the effects of the corona pandemic; orders are reduced or even cancelled. According to the VDMA flash survey, many companies are making capacity adjustments.
The Grand Coalition wants to extend the period for which employees can receive short-time work benefits beyond 12 months. Many mechanical engineering companies could benefit from this. The government is thus fulfilling an important demand of the VDMA.
The corona pandemic is also having a strong impact on the labour market. It is therefore necessary to immediately extend the period for which short-time work benefits are paid to 24 months.
The collective bargaining parties of the metal and electrical industry in North Rhine-Westphalia have reached an agreement in the current round of wage negotiations.
In a fire letter to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker spoke out in favour of an immediate extension of the period for which short-time work benefits are paid from 12 to 24 months.
The grand coalition has agreed in a draft bill on a decree authorization to extend short-time work. VDMA Executive Manager Thilo Brodtmann criticizes that the extension is tied to qualification measures.
By July 30, 2020 the member states of the European Union are obliged to transpose the new labour law requirements from the revised Posting of Workers Directive into national law.
In the German mechanical and plant engineering industry, the number of short-time workers rose from 4,400 to more than 20,000 between January and October 2019, according to an estimate by the Federal Employment Agency. Employees in the automotive supply industry are particularly affected. In order to avoid staff cuts, the Grand Coalition's decision to extend short-time working from 12 to 24 months should be implemented swiftly. Otherwise there is a risk of job losses.
The decision to extend the short-time working allowance is correct. However, a link with qualification measures only makes sense for companies that are suffering from structural change.
The law on the immigration of skilled workers is an important building block to improve the situation in the future. For the first time, all the authorities and ministries needed in this process are now involved.
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry is no exception: more and more companies are opting out of the collective bargaining agreement. According to a recent VDMA survey, only 29 percent of machine builders are still bound by a sectoral collective agreement. The Grand Coalition is trying to force collective bargaining through legal measures - to the detriment of non-tariff companies. The VDMA sees this as a violation of the freedom of association enshrined in the Basic Law.
According to a recent VDMA member survey, only just under a third of German mechanical engineering companies still practise the industry-wide collective agreement. However, the VDMA is firmly opposed to attempts by the Grand Coalition to enforce collective bargaining through political pressure.
The Bundesbank has advocated an increase in the retirement age, which the VDMA also welcomes.
The Federal Government has the declared goal of strengthening collective bargaining - whether through statutory wage opening clauses or through tax concessions for companies subject to collective bargaining agreements. According to leading jurists, these considerations collide with freedom of association. It is clear that the collective agreement is under massive pressure. But what could be the appropriate answer? This question will be the focus of the next VDMA debate, to which we cordially invite you.
On 18 September, the Federal Cabinet passed a draft of a third law to relieve the economy of bureaucracy.
The plans of Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil to subsidise trade union dues are "absurd" from the point of view of VDMA chief economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers.
The content of the focus legal brochure "The statutory minimum wage - effects on company practice" has been revised as of July 2019.
The Regulation establishing a European Labour Agency (ELA) entered into force on 31 July 2019.
The Grand Coalition wants to change the working hours law. Companies should get more leeway in the future so that they can adapt their working hours to the requirements of increasing digitalisation, demands the VDMA.
A recent study has confirmed that time limits are an integral part of the German labour market. The VDMA continues to reject regulation of the time limit.
Short-time work can be a suitable means for companies, especially in economically weaker times, to reduce costs in the short term and at the same time avoid redundancies and preserve jobs. The brochure summarises the basic principles and legal regulations.
The wage system must be changed and modernized, demands Gesamtmetall boss Dulger. The VDMA Managing Director Brodtmann can also take some pleasure in this.
Following the agreement of the European Parliament on 16 April 2019, the Council adopted on 13 June 2019 a Regulation establishing a European Labour Authority (ELA).
Five years after its introduction, trade unionists and politicians have spoken out in favour of a further increase in the minimum wage. The DGB also advocates a Europe-wide minimum wage. The VDMA does not believe in the claim.
In an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine, VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker talks about the dissatisfaction of the mechanical engineering industry with federal politics, about important foreign markets and why inventive talent and quality must not be lost in Germany.
The VDMA critically evaluates the National Continuing Education Strategy of the Federal Government.
German Parliament has cleared the way for a regulated immigration of skilled workers. However, the law remains inadequate with regard to rules such as the recognition of foreign university degrees.
According to the idea of IG Metall, a Transformation Short-Term Worker's Compensation (Transformations-KuG) is intended to support companies and employees in coping with technological or other structural change - with the aim of keeping employees in the company and qualifying them for changed and new requirements and activities.
On 7 June 2019, the German Bundestag passed the law on the immigration of skilled workers.
At the beginning of 2019, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia submitted a proposal to the Bundesrat to revise the Working Hours Act (Bundesrat-Drucksache 24/19). The vote on 15 March 2019 did not result in a sufficient majority for the project.
VDMA President Carl Martin Welcker welcomes the fact that parliamentary deliberations on the immigration law of skilled empolyees have finally begun.
Neither tax concessions nor statutory tariff opening clauses are the right measures to enforce collective tariff agreements. "Politics should better stay out of the collective tariff business altogether," demands VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann.
The German mechanical and plant engineering industry can draw a proud balance for its companies on the occasion of the vocational training report adopted by the Federal Government on Wednesday: The number of trainees in the German mechanical and plant engineering sector rose again in 2018.
With regard to the possibilities, but also the challenges of digitisation, the VDMA continues to call for the urgently overdue reform of the Working Hours Act.
Especially cyclical industries such as the German mechanical and plant engineering industry are dependent on temporary employment in order to compensate for economic fluctuations. Although temporary employment is already regulated by law and collective bargaining law like hardly any other sector, politicians and trade unions repeatedly call for further regulations - up to and including a complete ban. It is a springboard in work, especially for the low-skilled and the long-term unemployed.
Since December 2018, the EU institutions have been negotiating a proposal for a regulation establishing an EU Labour Authority (ELA). A preliminary agreement was reached on 14.02.2019.
The EU Parliament, the EU Council and the EU Commission have reached a preliminary agreement on the Directive on transparent and reliable working conditions within the framework of the so-called trialogue on 7 February 2019. The planned Directive represents a recast of the previous Detection Directive 91/533/EEC.
Temporary work can play a key role in the recruitment and deployment of experts from other EU countries. In many cases, small and medium-sized companies in particular can hardly do without external support in the recruitment processes.
The Corporate Learning Community (CLC) is a non-commercial network of actors in operational personnel development. The activities of the community are aimed at innovative learning. Already in 2018 the VDMA took over the patronage for a so-called Learning Camp.
VDMA and IG Metall have joined forces with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in an "industry dialogue" in which they have committed themselves to using the economic opportunities arising from digitisation and artificial intelligence to secure the future of mechanical and plant engineering.
On the occasion of the latest labour market figures of the Federal Labour Office, VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann demands that temporary employment in the recruitment of skilled workers from third countries should not be ruled out.
The law on the immigration of skilled workers and the law on acquiescence while in education and employment were passed on 19 December 2018. VDMA will participate in the consultations.
The CLC is a non-commercial network of actors in personnel development and focuses on innovative learning. Their activities fits very well into the initiatives of the VDMA.
The mechanical and plant engineering industry is desperately looking for skilled workers. In addition to a range of other measures such as training and flexible working hours, the immigration of skilled workers from third countries can also alleviate the shortage of skilled workers. The prerequisite, however, is that the planned Immigration Act for skilled workers is designed and implemented in a practical, transparent and unbureaucratic manner.
VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann has made a clear commitment to collective bargaining autonomy. "It is evidence that employers and employees in general can largely regulate their relationship on their own." At best, the state should set a loose labour law framework, according to Brodtmann.
Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the VDMA, has sharply criticised the pension package passed in the Bundestag with the votes of the CDU/CSU and SPD: "Basically, the money of our great-grandchildren is already being spent today".
The latest labour market figures of the Federal Employment Agency show a rampant shortage of skilled workers. According to Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the VDMA, the Federal Government is jointly responsible for this.
In view of the challenges posed by digitisation, the VDMA calls for the urgently overdue reform of the Working Hours Act.
The German government has agreed on key points for an immigration law. VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann calls for a law that is practicable for the industry.
VDMA: Workforce expansion is remarkable, but not sufficient for production requirements - Production in the first four months of 2018 has increased by 4.2 percent
Vorrangige Themen: Kununu und Abschluss Tarifverhandlungen.
In 2017 the demand for labour rose significantly. The last time the number of additional job offerings was as high as present has been in 2007.
Machines improve our lives – on a large and small scale. Whether for our health, food or the many means of transportation that we use; whether we are looking at the ground deep below the sea or from high above – we need machines and people who utilize their skills to make the world a better place to live. That is the aim of mechanical and plant engineering. Humans – Machines – Progress.
World Economic Forum in Davos: Doomsayers will be proved wrong
Mechanical and plant engineering companies in Germany and Europe need open markets and free trade in order to achieve successful exports and secure jobs.

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RA Fabian Seus
RA Fabian Seus
Legal Counsel

Head of Competence Center Labour Market

Labour Law, Labour Market and Collective-Bargaining Policies
+49 69 6603-1350
+49 69 6603-2350