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Flexible working hours

Increasingly, the companies of the capital region are introducing modern, flexible working time arrangements and multiple-shift workforce scheduling models. In particular, the companies established more recently by younger entrepreneurs have made their working hours more flexible to better serve their clients and allow their employees greater freedom. This is pioneered by companies in the multimedia sector as well as the information and communications industries.

Berlin employees work longer hours than the average employee in Germany.

  • In 2015, per capita work hours for an employee in Berlin rose by 3 hours (0.2%) over the previous year to an average of 1,391 hours.
  • In total, approximately 1.8 million people rack up approximately 2.6 billion hours of work per year, which is 2.0% more employees and 2.2% more working hours than the year before.

Working time arrangements in Berlin

Working hours are determined by the German-wide Working Hours Act and the EU Working Time Directive. Working hours can amount to max. 24 h, if agreed in a labor agreement and on a regular basis pertaining to an increased readiness to work.

No application is required for call centers/communication centers at present, only with regard to Sunday employment. Work hours over 10 h require an application with detailed grounds for the necessity and the verification by the Authority for Occupational Safety and Health and a (usually limited) certificate of exemption.

Costs of labor as compared to other cities in Germany

Compared to other major German cities, Berlin offers a labor cost advantage of 10 to 15%. Temporary employment agencies (such as Randstad) even assume that this advantage amounts to 20%.

Costs of labor as compared to other countries

In the states acceding to the Federal Republic of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall (including Berlin), the average labor costs per hour are lower by up to 40% than those in the states that previously made up the Federal Republic of Germany; they are significantly lower than those of many Western industrialized countries.

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