The German temporary staffing industry: growth, development, scandal and resistance

Jennifer Ferreira

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    In Germany the size of the temporary agency workforce has almost doubled in between 2002 and 2012 prompted by deregulation and expansion of temporary staffing agency networks. This article examines the growth of the temporary staffing industry in Germany revealing important milestones in the regulatory framework transformation. The article then explores the role of key actors in the development of temporary staffing industry in the Germany labour market, in particular the shifting positions of trade unions in relation to temporary agency work, as well as intervention from the state with re-regulation in order to mitigate for exploitative affecting temporary agency workers. The findings highlight that while the growth of the German temporary staffing industry has been substantial, and that the state has been an active agent, it has not been without its controversies and challenges, and that features of the industry remain potential barriers for its future development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-143
    JournalIndustrial Relations Journal
    Issue number2
    Early online date27 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ferreira, J 2016, 'The German temporary staffing industry: growth, development, scandal and resistance' Industrial Relations Journal, vol 47, no. 2, 117-143. DOI: 10.1111/irj.12133, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving


    • temporary agency work
    • Germany
    • trade unions
    • employment


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