Good co-operation

The employment conditions in the services sector are discussed publicly at regular intervals. They are covered in debates about minimum wage legislation, for example. For Piepenbrock, it is important that the relationship with its workers is transparent to demonstrate: "Fairness first!"

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Payment never below standard rate

The property cleaning industry is often a central point of public interest when it comes to the topic of "fair payment". In actual fact, since 2007 the Employee Secondment Act has also applied to the property cleaning trade. A minimum wage applies to property cleaning companies who have an approximate workforce of about 550,000 in Germany. The German Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs declares standardised employment conditions as generally applicable, which establish the law for various areas of industry such as care, security services and waste disposal.

Public employers lead by example and regulate adherence to the collective agreement as well as minimum wages for commissioning via the declaration of collective agreements ordinance. The declaration established at state level prescribes that public contracts are only to be awarded to companies who pay their employees the fixed minimum wage and act in accordance with the collective agreement. The law governing adherence to the collective agreement and commissioning in North Rhine Westphalia goes a step further and requires evidence to be submitted to demonstrate, for example, adherence to the ILO labour standards or advancement of women.

Adherence to the collective agreement is a commitment that Piepenbrock makes with binding effect throughout the country and it remunerates its employees in accordance with the specifications of the collective agreement for the property cleaning trade. For the company, set costs are non-negotiable. In this way, the family-run business stands for fair payment in the trade and, at the same time, protects its customers against the unpleasant consequences of negative test results.


Staff and collective agreements

  2010 2011 2012
Germany
Number of employees 25,108 26,906 27,071
Number of employees covered by collective agreements 22,106 23,535 23,008
of which are security staff 2,230 1,839 1,896
of which property cleaners 19,876 21,696 20,976
of which are hotels and guest-houses 0 0 136
Number of employees who earn the standard rate
Security staff 100% 100% 100%
Property cleaners 100% 100% 100%
Number of employees who earn more than the standard rate
Security staff 40% 40% 43%
Property cleaners 15% 15% 15%
Austria
Number of employees 185 269 200
Number of employees covered by collective agreements 185 269 200


Inspection by financial control department for illegal employment

Fundamentally, the financial control department for illegal employment (FKS) from the main customs and excise offices check whether the minimum wage conditions are being adhered to. If the FKS finds that a cleaning company is in violation, it checks whether this could have been seen at the time the cleaning contract was awarded or whether it was a case of deliberate misconduct. The law decrees that in the event of violation, a fine of up to 500,000 euros is to be paid. Piepenbrock is in favour of the checks as some companies do not adhere to the minimum wage and are thereby responsible for wage dumping. Evidence is provided by the examination statistics 2012: In total, about 29,000 employees were questioned and in 5850 cases investigative procedures were initiated. In the end, the number of fines that were imposed amounted to more than 2.6 millions euros.


Piepenbrock operates cleanly

During the inspections in 2013, which focused on specific areas, Piepenbrock achieved a very good rating. Overall, the customs office checked 49 properties from Piepenbrock throughout the whole of the country. The main focus of the checks was on compliance with the Employee Secondment Act. Aside from determining whether the employers adhere to the minimum wage of 9.00 euros in the old federal states and 7.56 euros in the new states, the customs department checked that time-sheets have been kept properly. The FKS also checked to what extent the employees complied with their obligation of carrying their identification cards/papers with them.


New wage and minimum wage agreement

Since 1st January 2015, Germany has a minimum wage of at least 8.50 euros per hour for the whole of the country. In the area of cleaning services, an industry-wide standard rate already applies. At regular intervals, companies and the IG BAU trade union (trade union for the construction, agriculture and environment industry) negotiate wages according to a collective agreement. This is always implemented with plenty of notice so that preparations for wage adjustments can be made. Since 2011, the standard rate per hour in the west is at least 8.50 euros – at present, it is even higher at 9.31 euros. Even in the new federal states, 8.50 euros will be paid from the start of 2015.

At Piepenbrock, nobody will be dismissed because of the minimum wage. The legal ruling enables an interim period, which is long enough to adjust to the new lower limits. The agreed level of 8.50 euros will apply from 2015 for areas of industry that are currently not covered by collective minimum wage agreements. The current collective agreement for cleaning services is valid until October 2015. An interim ruling for generally-binding minimum wage agreements, which permits a lower rate than that legally prescribed thereafter, runs until the end of 2016.


Temporary employment contracts

At Piepenbrock, only about a third of the workforce is employed on a temporary contract. A topical survey by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) from 2013 proves that the chances of temporary employees being taken on permanently have risen considerably in recent years. In 2012, 39 percent of all temporary employment contracts were upgraded to permanent. The figure in 2009 was still at 30 percent. 28 percent of the workers left the respective company at the end of a temporary employment contract compared with 37 percent in 2009. According to the IAB, temporary contracts are often linked to project funds and contract duration.


Takeover with new contracts

Piepenbrock is receptive to accepting employees already employed on a building when taking on new contracts. In each case, this is individually examined in agreement with the client. Particularly operative managers such as property advisors who have a plethora of experience from the respective post can ensure a successful start to the contract and trouble-free processes. In the event of staff being taken over from the previous service provider, comprehensive induction measures are carried out. Managers attend "Train-the-Trainer" courses focusing on social skills.


Part-time models

According to the IAB, the whole employment market has increasingly flexible forms of employment. Among these are part-time positions, of which the services sector and production industry make up a third. For Piepenbrock, part-time is an instrument through which the demand for personnel can be adapted to different frequencies of operations for its customers. Employers around the country have representative properties in large cities with a high volume of work. At the same time, however, they also have small branches in rural areas requiring activities of no more than one hour per day.

In order to organise a wide variety of different services, it is particularly the part-time model that often meets the operational requirements in terms of flexibility and productivity. Part-time concepts offer better ways to arrange family and job commitments as they offer more scope to organise private life. Piepenbrock aspires to working conditions with social insurance contributions instead of casual employment for its employees. As a rule, the obligation to contribute towards social insurance ensures that employees are safeguarded reliably.


Wages in the security industry

With about 250,000 employees, the security industry makes an indispensable contribution to internal security within Germany. In 2012, it had a turnover of almost twelve billion euros in the area of security services and technology. Applicable here is the relevant wage and industry-wide framework agreement for each respective state group of the federal state to which Piepenbrock belongs as a member of the German association of the security industry.

Security services are subject to paragraph 34a of the commercial code and must fulfil many official conditions. Training and expertise play an important role here. The Piepenbrock Academy ensures training and continuation training at the required professional level and in accordance with the rules and regulations. It is certified according to the accreditation and certification ordinance for further education (AZAV) and complies with the qualification requirements of DIN 77200.


Works council

The works council is the voice of the workforce. It enables contact with the company management and represents the interests of the workforce. The managing partners appreciate this close exchange of information. The works council is not just a control body but also provides the means to create impulses and push forth important topics.


Collective agreement in packaging machine construction

The wage and salary structure of the affiliated companies, LoeschPack and Hastamat, is arranged according to the collective agreement of the trade union, IG Metall, and applies to about 90 percent of the workforce. Associated with this is the payment of holiday and Christmas money as well as one-off collective agreement payments and regular pay rises. 10 percent of employees are employed outside the collective agreement. This includes management and sales staff.


Collective agreement in packaging machine construction

The wage and salary structure of the affiliated companies, LoeschPack and Hastamat, is arranged according to the collective agreement of the trade union, IG Metall, and applies to about 90 percent of the workforce. Associated with this is the payment of holiday and Christmas money as well as one-off collective agreement payments and regular pay rises. 10 percent of employees are employed outside the collective agreement. This includes management and sales staff.