Germans won't give up long vacations

14th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 July 2004, BERLIN - Germans enjoy some of the longest paid vacations in the world but a poll Wednesday showed a big majority unwilling to give up holiday time in order to help the country's ailing economy. The Stern magazine/RTL TV survey showed 62 percent opposed giving up a week of vacation with no change in pay even if they were convinced this would bolster German economic data. Cutting a week of paid vacation has been suggested by the head of Germany's Federation of Industry (BDI), Michael Rogowski,

 14 July 2004

BERLIN - Germans enjoy some of the longest paid vacations in the world but a poll Wednesday showed a big majority unwilling to give up holiday time in order to help the country's ailing economy.

The Stern magazine/RTL TV survey showed 62 percent opposed giving up a week of vacation with no change in pay even if they were convinced this would bolster German economic data.

Cutting a week of paid vacation has been suggested by the head of Germany's Federation of Industry (BDI), Michael Rogowski, as a way to pull the country out of three years of stagnation with unemployment stuck at over 10 percent.

Most German workers get at least six weeks of paid vacation each year. In addition they enjoy up to a further 13 days off on public holidays which vary in each of the country's Laender or federal states.

The poll, carried out by the Forsa Institute, surveyed 1,005 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

German laws protecting employees against unfair dismissal need to be relaxed to get the unemployed back to work more quickly, Michael Rogowski, the head of the BDI industry federation, told the weekly magazine Focus Money.

Current legislation is ``a big obstacle to reemploying jobless people," Rogowski said in an interview with the magazine. ``As it is laid out now it only fosters long-term unemployment."

Publication of the poll came as the BDI stepped up his campaign for greater job market flexibility.

Rogowski told the weekly Focus Money that German laws protecting employees against unfair dismissal need to be liberalised to speed up the process of returning the unemployed to work.

The BDI chief said that current legislation was "a major obstacle to reemploying jobless people, " saying that existing laws enourage long-term unemployment.

Instead of being protected against dismissal, Rogowski said new workers should receive what he described as relatively high unemployment benefits for their first three months without work with benefits then falling sharply to encourage them to look for a new job.

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article