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Annie Hayes



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‘Ebay’ for wages set to come to UK


Threatening to terrorize the unions and legislators alike, a German website which lets job-seekers bid against each other by offering a minimum fee for their services, is due to launch in England in August.

Today’s Telegraph notes that “Trade unions have accused of promoting “slave labour” with reverse auctions that see workers compete against each other in a downward bidding spiral for odd tasks and short-term contracts.”

But, says the newspaper, founder Fabian Loew thinks the UK is ripe for the services the site offers, and cites him as saying, “After Thatcher and Blair, the British are open to new ideas and have a much more flexible attitude to work…So I think it could be a big success over there.” lets employers advertise openings offering a maximum fee or rate, and invites jobseekers to bid lower than each other.

The Telegraph describes the site as “a nightmare come true for defenders of Europe’s cosseted social model” and notes that the lowest bid thus far has been €3.16 an hour (£2.17) “for a three-hour job cleaning out a basement.”

While there is no statutory minimum wage in Germany, there are complex labour conventions determining what workers should be paid in different industries.

Sister site AccountingWEB, fully-equipped with very little German took a look at the site this week and was able to fathom that as at time of writing there are less than sixty jobs being advertised, the largest single category being for “handiwork and repair” persons, but also for office workers and domestic staff. And there appear to be a number of vacancies for models.

We’d be very interested for HRZone members with better German than ours to have a look at the site and give some feedback.

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Annie Hayes


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