Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure DE-2020-12/713 – measures in Germany
|Country||Germany , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 20 March 2020|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Smoothing frictions or reallocation of workers
|Author||Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||17 April 2020 (updated 12 May 2021)|
For halting the spread of COVID-19, since 22 March 2020 public gatherings of more than two persons are banned, except for families and persons living together. Restaurants have been told to close unless they offer food delivery and pick up. Grocery stores on the other hand are permitted to stay open, sell groceries as well as other goods and because of a great number of customers are in need of staff.
Against this background two major employers, McDonald's and food discounter ALDI, developed the idea of staff exchange.
The idea of staff exchange during times of crisis is not new but typically involves more than two companies. During the economic crisis 2009/2010 some employer-alliances were set up for exchanging staff at regional level. The bilateral inter-company cooperation by McDonalds and ALDI was developed by the human resource departments of the two companies. When the measure started Aldi was in need of 3,000 additional workers whereas McDonald's franchise companies employed 60,000 workers at risk of unemployment. As explained by McDonald's HR manager, the company aimed at a very fast solution and and therefore focused on the individual transfer to another company.
McDonald's is affiliated to the federal association of system caterers BdS which negotiated a sectoral Corona-protection agreement with trade union NGG (see factsheet) which states that dismissals shall be avoided.
ALDI's staff needs are communicated to regional McDonald's companies (franchises) which offer leaves for workers who want to take up these fixed-term jobs During the leave, wages are paid by ALDI.
No data provided. At the beginning of the lockdown, ALDI had a need for 3,000 extra staff.
Employees in standard employment
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No direct involvement by the trade unions but the partnership agreement relates to the sectoral agreement settled by system caterers and trade union NGO which settles that direct dismissal shall be avoided (see factsheet)
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles||G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles|
|I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities||I56 Food and beverage service activities|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Food preparation assistants|
Eurofound (2020), HR partnership between McDonald's and ALDI, measure DE-2020-12/713 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2020-12_713.html
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