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Safety and Health of Temporary Agency Workers

Focus Analysis 2016

Temporary agency work is one of the fastest growing forms of employment in Germany. The average number of temporary agency workers during the year 2016 was just under the one million mark, at 990,792.

A key attribute of temporary agency work is that this form of employment is based on a triangular relationship between the temporary employment agency, the temporary agency worker and the hiring company. In this respect, temporary agency work exists when employees are provided by an employer to a third party for a limited period of time. Current studies refer to the fact that temporary agency work can be a health-damaging employment relationship, as temporary agency work is associated with specific triggers of stress, such as physically demanding working conditions, a lack of social inclusion and a low income.

The focus analysis on the safety and health of temporary agency workers in the scope of the "Safety and Health at Work 2016" report addresses the following factors:

  • Framework data regarding the temporary employment sector: How has the temporary employment sector developed? Who is employed as a temporary agency worker: rather men or women?, what is their level of education, and in what economic sectors do they work?
  • Accident statistics of temporary agency workers: How many workplace or commuting accidents occur in the temporary employment sector? In what fields of occupational activity do the accidents occur?
  • Occupational safety and health situation of temporary agency workers: What are the working conditions of temporary agency workers? How do temporary agency workers assess their health and job satisfaction? In this context, the data of the BIBB/BAuA Employment Surveys of 2006 and 2012 were analysed.
  • Making temporary agency work safe and healthy: What possibilities exist for the practically-oriented implementation of solutions for the safe and healthy configuration of temporary agency work in employment agencies and hiring companies? In this context, instruments and guidance are presented.

Moreover, in the scope of BAuA: focus "The Working Conditions of Temporary Agency Workers in Focus - Results from BAuA's Working Time Survey", the physical, technical and mental working conditions, as well as the health and satisfaction of temporary agency workers were examined. For this purpose, the data from BAuA Working Time Survey of 2015 were analysed.