Working time and working time accounts

The hours a temporary employee is obliged to work can be freely agreed with the employer. However, working hours must comply with the provisions of the German Working Hours Act (ArbZG, Arbeitszeitgesetz). The Working Hours Act provides, for instance, that the employee may not work more than eight hours a day on average, but the maximum working time can be extended to up to ten hours a day if appropriate rest periods are granted.

The collective agreements for temporary employment (iGZ and BAP) provide that temporary employees working full time must work 35 hours a week. For the specific assignment, the temporary employee’s working hours usually depend on the circumstances at the hirer’s company and can therefore also total as much as 40 hours.

The collective agreements for temporary employees provide for working time accounts to be kept. However, certain additional rules for working time accounts may have to be considered if temporary workers are employed in a so-called minimum wage industry. In such a case, time accounts may only be kept if this is permitted by the minimum wage agreement.

A temporary worker employed, for instance, in the meat processing industry may not keep a working time account at all, because the corresponding minimum wage agreement does not provide for this.

If the temporary employee works on the basis of equal treatment provisions, a working time account may only be kept if and in as far as a working time account is maintained for comparable employees of the hirer. The temporary employment agency does not have any discretionary freedom whatsoever in this case.