Permanently employed staff form the backbone of every company. However, there are situations in which full-time staff struggle to keep up with the stream of work on their own – where there are seasonal variations in order numbers, additional projects or when co-workers are off sick, for example. In these cases, many companies are happy to bring in self-employed workers or staff who will work on a temporary, part-time basis.
Part-time staff – the same rights and obligations as full-time employees
Anyone who doesn’t work full time but has a permanent contract belongs to the large group of part-time staff. They have the same rights as their full-time co-workers, including protection against dismissal and the right to paid vacation time. How many hours are to be worked and when is set out beforehand in a contract between the company and the employee. Many companies appreciate part-time staff because they take on definable packages of work. What’s more, companies in Germany with more than 15 employees are obliged to offer the option of working part-time unless there are operational reasons that make this impossible.
Contract work – all the benefits, none of the bureaucracy
Contract work is an elegant way for companies to temporarily boost numbers in their workforce. They “borrow” the staff they need from an agency for as long as they need to. It is the agency that employs the staff, with all the rights and obligations that go with that relationship, including payment, vacation time and social security contributions. The contracting company only pays a fee to the agency, and does not have to worry about all the administrative work involved. The simple matter of a personnel leasing contract between the company and the agency is all that’s required. One thing you should look out for in Germany is that serious agencies are certified by the German Federal Employment Agency and guarantee minimum or industry-standard wages.
Freelancers – flexible, but watch out for pseudo-self-employment
As the name implies, freelancers are not employed. Companies can make flexible use of these staff, entrust them with clearly defined assignments, and then let them go again. They pay either a set fee or an hourly wage for this. The whole setup is regulated using plant or remuneration contracts. Social security contributions? Not the company’s responsibility – unless the freelancer is in the artists’ social security fund, in which case it has to pay some of the social contributions. Protection from dismissal? Nope. Vacation time? Sick pay? These are the sole responsibility of the freelancer, too. What is key is that freelancers can carry out their work at a time and place of their choosing. Otherwise, there is a danger of falling into “pseudo-self-employment” or “misapplication of plant contracts”. That can get expensive. When in doubt, it is worthwhile asking the opinion of an expert.
Interns – good for both parties
When all goes well, it’s a win-win situation. Interns in your company acquire knowledge and skills for their future jobs and at the same time support your staff. Students and other self-employed interns in particular are often a real help. How much interns are paid depends on the length and type of internship and what experience and qualifications the interns have already gained.
Finding good freelancers fast
SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting is a particularly fast and efficient way of finding highly qualified freelancers – and also permanent staff. In over 4,000 job boards, companies can search for and approach the best freelancers, interns and skilled workers. There is no tool better than SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting for handling every step of the recruitment process – from advertising the position to making contact, and all the way to entering the onboarding process.