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Temporary work/ short-term contract/ work contract

Temporary work (“Leiharbeit”) describes a form of employment in Germany, in which workers are employed at a temporary work company that temporarily “leases” them to a third party in form of another company. The temporary work company receives payment for sending their workers to the other company, and pays the workers’ salaries. Companies often hire temporary workers in order to increase their workforce short-term without committing to the long-term responsibilities of employment contracts. Companies can further employ workers short-term through so-called work contracts. Work contracts only include the product of the work and not the hours of work. People who work according to a work contract are supposed to work on the product independently and deliver a finished product. While temporary workers’ contracts fall under the jurisdiction of a company’s work council, work contracts do not. Temporary workers and people who work according to a work contract are disadvantaged compared to a company’s regular employees: They usually earn a lower salary, have no job security or social and pension insurance and are excluded from other protections. Migrants are particularly affected by these precarious work conditions.