Following new regulation on the Inquiry Proceeding of Freelancers in Germany – or Statusfestellungsverfahren – the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) Deutschland has warned of a decline in freelance numbers across the country at a time when skills are in short supply.

André Sola, Managing Director of APSCo Deutschland commented:

“While the aim of the Statusfestellungsverfahren is to have a reliable status determination procedure that provides legal certainty for all parties involved in the contract, this is unlikely to be the case in many instances. While there are a number of issues with the regulation – including the lack of viable digital processes, which slows down the determination timeframe – one of the key concerns is that the changes run the risk of freelancers working out of the country. The law only applies to where the work is conducted, encouraging freelancers to work from beyond Germany’s borders. APSCo Deutschland is working with policy makers to ensure the regulation is amended further to ensure freelance compliance law is more straightforward and supports the creation of a dynamic workforce.”

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo added:

“Germany is experiencing a talent shortage driven by a wealth of factors from a retirement cliff, a surge in demand from employers, to a mismatch between the skills of the younger workforce and the needs of businesses. The commitment from the new government coalition to create a modern, flexible and digital labour market is laudable, but it needs appropriate employment legislation underpinned by digital processes to support this. APSCo Deutschland has outlined its guidance for policy makers in the country which includes appropriately defining the self-employed in legislation. Independent freelancers should be defined as “business to business”, as opposed to dependent employees who provide personal service under direction and control.”

“APSCo Deutschland has also called on policy makers to recognise the value highly skilled foreign workers bring to Germany with steps such as simplifying the recognition process of foreign qualifications and professional registrations. We also believe that citizenship laws and skilled immigration legislation need to be modernised to support wider skills attraction. Where talent can’t be brought in to fill skills gaps, federal and state investment needs to be channelled to support educational, training and employer led programmes to build the technical skills needed to meet the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. We will continue to work with policy makers to guide employment legislation and ensure that the voice of the recruitment sector in Germany is well-represented.”