Almost 8,000 people working for the German government were given time-limited contracts without a reason, according to a report. Berlin's practices contradict the government's plans to keep those contracts to a minimum.
The German government's hiring practices were called into question on Monday following a newspaper report about Berlin's limited contract workers.
A total of 7,877 German government employees are currently working on contracts that are time-limited without a concrete reason, German newspaper Rheinische Post reported, contradicting the government's policy goal to reduce the number of such contracts.
The data mean that more than 50 percent of people working for the government on limited contracts are doing so without a specific reason.
The Interior Ministry was the one that most frequently used such employment contracts, according to the report. Out of 5,595 people employed on limited contracts at the ministry, 4,541 were not told why their contracts had time constraints.
Contradicts coalition agreement
The figures stemmed from German government response to an inquiry from parliamentarian Otto Fricke, who is a member of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).
Berlin's use of such contracts contrasts sharply with goals outlined in the coalition agreement between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
In the agreement, the parties said they would strive to reduce the number of those contracts in businesses. They said that only 2.5 percent of contracts at companies that have more than 75 employees should be allowed to be time-limited contracts without giving a concrete reason.
"A government that uses such a large amount of fixed-term contracts without material reasons should stop imposing rules on the private sector that they themselves should have been complying with long ago," Fricke told Rheinische Post.
rs/ng (AFP, Reuters)