Management of seasonal foreign workers in Germany
Since the early 1990s, Germany has concluded bilateral agreements with Central and Eastern European countries for the seasonal employment of their nationals [NB: Most of the agreements have meanwhile become obsolete, with the partner countries joining the European Union]. The agreements aim to protect the rights of seasonal foreign workers in Germany and to fill labour market gaps. German employers must prove - to the satisfaction of local labour offices - that local workers are unavailable, and they may not hire migrant seasonal workers for longer than eight months per year (with some exceptions). Employers must also submit employment contracts specifying salary, working, living and travel arrangements to local labour offices, and they are required to cover their workers' recruitment fees. Since 2010, employer sanctions have been imposed in cases of non-respect of working, wage and housing conditions.