Duality Agreement

If we try to explain the model of duality of the labour market discussed above, we can say that in addition to structural changes and the strategic behaviour of market players, particularly employers, labour market institutions and reforms, they play an important role in the organisation of the functioning of the German labour market, particularly with regard to atypical labour. While there is a great deal of stability in the ability to adopt institutional provisions on standard employment contracts, there have been significant structural changes that have mainly involved atypical or ”atypical” jobs. It is true that in Germany there has always been a certain segmentation of the industrial workforce, based on skills needs and reflected in wage patterns, but institutional flexibility has increased over time, which has a considerable impact on the diffusion and character of atypical work. Overall, it is fair to say that the German labour market has changed considerably over the last 10 to 15 years. Job creation in services has contributed to a much higher level of employment compared to previous periods, and many of these jobs are in atypical forms of contracts. There is a wide line between regular, permanent and part-time part-time jobs. Secondary segments of the labour market are clearly characterized by sectoral and demographic patterns. This model of dual employment seems to be more important over time, due to the expansion of the labour market, sectoral changes, increased flexibility by employers and working conditions that also respond to labour/organisation relations and labour/supply demand. A parallel evolution can also be demonstrated with wage inequality. It is clear that the low-wage sector in Germany has developed in the same way as the dispersion of wages as a whole. Although atypical contracts generally represent a higher proportion of low wages than for regular jobs, wage gaps in full-time full-time full-time full-time full-time contracts have also increased.

Here, coverage through collective agreements makes a big difference. With regard to wage dispersion, the weakness of collective bargaining in the private services sector, particularly in the middle and low-skilled occupations, has drawn attention to the issue of setting mandatory minimum wages since the mid-2000s. This has hardly been a problem for many years, as trade unions (and employers) have always regarded wage negotiations as their real responsibility, but in the face of rising wages and limited ability to set collective agreements, trade unions have begun to insist on a general legal minimum wage, a political project that is also popular with the majority of German voters. However, in recent years and in various government situations, conventional minimum wages have been made mandatory in an increasing number of sectors by existing legislation on the secondment of workers or, in the case of temporary workers, by the regulation of temporary employment agencies. The new legal minimum wage of 8.50 EUROS per hour, applicable from January 2015, with a transitional period of two years for existing and compulsory conventional minimum wages, has for the first time set a mandatory minimum wage floor for almost all categories of workers (except for young people and apprentices) and all sectors. In addition to the expected breaches of temporary work, the relatively high legal minimum wage is the most important reform that breaks with the deregulation approach adopted a decade ago. While the re-regulation approach aims to limit the dispersion of wages and working conditions, it can also trigger new forms of circumvention, such as the use of undocumented overtime or more false self-employed people. As with temporary work, temporary work has gradually liberalized over the past few years,