After the last change of the employees’ transfer act in 2011 and the corresponding implemented restrictions with regard to personnel lease, industrial and service companies in Germany have increasingly proceeded to assign work to foreign personnel on the basis of contracts for work which has so far been conducted by own staff or temporary workers.

The Laender now want to tackle more misuse of work contracts and the circumvention of labor obligations. In their draft of the law adopted on 20th September 2013, they therefore propose appropriate changes of employee hiring law, as well as of the works Constitution Act.

For example, they wish to clarify by law the existing employers’ obligation to inform the Works Council in a timely manner and comprehensively about the intended use of contract employees.

Furthermore, in case of operational matters of occupational health and safety, the Works Council shall receive a co-determination right with regard to contract workers who are, according to the current applicable Works Constitution Act, at least factually unprotected.

Also, the filling of a workplace in the operation with a contract employee shall be equated to the “personnel measures” in the sense of the Works Constitution Act with respect to single individual reasons for rejecting Works Council’s approval which serve the protection of employees already working in the operation.

The draft law has now been forwarded to the Federal Government, which will forward it to the new Federal Parliament within six weeks. Within this procedure, the Federal Government shall expose their opinion.