Unbefristete Vollzeitjobs gelten als reguläre Arbeitsplätze. Alles andere wird meist als atypische Beschäftigung bezeichnet, manchmal auch als prekär: Zeitarbeit, Minijobs, Teilzeitarbeit, geringfügige Beschäftigung und befristete Stellen.
Zu Unrecht gilt auch die Zeitarbeit als atypische Erwerbsform. Zeitarbeitnehmer sind vollwertige Arbeitnehmer, überwiegend sozialversicherungspflichtig, unbefristet vollzeitbeschäftigt, und sie genießen den gleichen Kündigungsschutz wie Arbeitnehmer in anderen Branchen.
For decades unemployment increased dramatically in times of recession but failed to revert to its original level in the recovery, a ratchet effect which led to a substratum of unemployed workers. This pattern was first interrupted in the boom years of 2006 to 2008 - partly due to the so-called Hartz Reforms.
Legal regulation is a further obstacle to high employment. Compared with other countries the German market is highly regulated. For example, while the laws which protect employees from dismissal encourage employers to retain their employees in times of crisis, the same companies are correspondingly reluctant to recruit when times are good.
Unemployment is significantly more prevalent among the disabled than in the rest of the population. Often illness and subsequent courses of rehabilitation interrupt the careers of people with disabilities, limiting their chances on the labour market.
Some companies are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because they cannot assess their capacity for work. Similarly, the especially strict legislation protecting disabled workers from dismissal and their additional holiday entitlement have often proved obstacles to employment. However, lack of information is still the greatest problem and one which REHADAT has set itself the task of alleviating. This project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Labour and implemented by the IW, gathers information on the practice of vocational rehabilitation and makes it available on the internet. The data on assistive devices is also incorporated in EASTIN, a European network.
The aim of HR or personnel management is to recruit and retain suitably trained staff, a task which demographic change is making increasingly difficult.
Women offer an especially promising reservoir of untapped potential, since a smaller proportion are already economically active in Germany than in other countries’. To attract more women into employment, combining a job with bringing up a family must be made easier. The lack of freshly trained workers also means that if high levels of expertise are to be maintained, HR managers will have do more to give their workforce ongoing training. Adopting HR policies based on employees’ life cycles will be important for keeping the workforce motivated and productive right up to the moment they retire.
Unit labour costs describe the cost of labour per unit of performance. In a national economy average unit labour costs are thus the costs of employing a worker relative to his or her economic performance.
In Germany manufacturing industry in particular is considerably more productive than the foreign competition. However, this advantage does not entirely compensate for the drawback of high labour costs. All things considered, unit labour costs in Germany are on average about 10 per cent higher than the competition’s.