Employer President Rainer Dulger has called for reforms to pensions and working hours. Dulger told the German Press Agency that working hours needed to be made more flexible. He also warned of a hole in the pension fund.
"When the baby boomers retire, around four million people will change their status from contributors to benefits recipients. And you don't need to have studied to understand that if you go from more than 45 million people in employment to 40 million in just a few years or even down to 39 million, not only will there be a hole in the pension fund. Then we have to talk about whether we can maintain the future pension level?"
If this is to be maintained, a large part of the federal budget will flow even more into social welfare. "That worries me very much. And we have to ask ourselves the question together: Can we imagine linking the retirement age to the average life expectancy? We have to talk about this honestly. By the way, this has long been common practice in many other countries."
Dulger: Make working hours more flexible
“With our Working Hours Act, we are in a time of telex and rotary dials,” said the President of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations. "It is limited to daily working hours. But we now live in the digital age and have a modern and flexible European working time law." The employers wanted the federal government to implement this law in Germany with a contemporary focus on weekly working hours.
"This creates the right time frame for actual work flexibility. An example: an employee who works in administration, who works on the computer, who can also work on the move, regardless of whether he does so from home or from somewhere else . He works from nine in the morning until one or two, then he picks up his child from daycare and sits down at the computer again in the evening between 10 and 11 p.m. to answer a few emails. But he's not allowed until around ten the next day He continues to work all day long because otherwise he won't comply with the statutory rest times. That's crazy and completely ignores the reality of life for many families."
What the respective working time model looks like must be negotiated between employers and employees. "What we need is a little more trust from the state."
Dulger rejects the four-day week
Regarding union demands for a four-day week, Dulger said: "A four-day week and then with full wage compensation is exactly the opposite of what we need in a time of massive shortage of skilled workers. We all feel that we Tasks can no longer be completed." Considering that everyone worked even less as a solution would lead to the wrong result. "Our competitors work longer hours than we do. How do we think about further reducing our already low working hours worldwide? If we want to maintain our prosperity in this country, we would all have to work more, but definitely not less."