Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to curb the sharp increase in temporary work in geriatric care. In the future, “economic incentives for hiring nursing and care staff at the expense of the solidarity community or those in need of care and their families” should be prevented, quotes the editorial network Germany (Thursday editions) from a revised draft law for care reform that it has received.
Among other things, according to the information, it should be stipulated in the future that care facilities may not charge the care insurance companies for the additional costs for the use of temporary workers. Rather, the standard wages in the industry should apply as the upper limit. Agency fees for temporary employment agencies should also not be allowed to be billed.
According to the information, the background to these measures is that temporary employment agencies sometimes offer nursing staff a significantly higher payment than permanent specialists. As a result, more and more nurses who were previously employed are switching to temporary employment, which further exacerbates the already existing shortage of staff in the permanent workforce.
There has been a labor shortage in the healthcare sector for many years. Although the federal government is increasingly trying to recruit nurses from abroad, the numbers are far below the targets.
According to the draft law, this is now to be counteracted: It is said that there should be an economic incentive to retain permanent staff and to limit unequal working and pay conditions to the detriment of permanent staff. This should help “that temporary work and comparable measures remain only additional instruments to temporarily ensure the contractually agreed staffing in the event of short-term staff shortages and unfilled positions”.