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18 November 2016

German trade unions condemn the impact of digitalisation on working conditions

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) publishes an annual report on developments in ‘quality of work’. In the latest edition of this report, published on 10 November, the DGB expresses its concern at the impact of an increasingly digital economy on working conditions.

The employees surveyed by the DGB (around 9 000 in total) believed that labour intensity and workload had increased substantially, and attributed this to phenomena such as the use of robots, digitalisation and new information and communication technologies.

The DGB’s survey found that 82% of respondents were affected by these changes on a daily basis, with 60% stating that they were affected ‘to a large extent’ or ‘to a very large extent’.

Employees believe that these new developments have had an adverse impact on their health, mainly because of the stress and pressure they find themselves under as a result. Almost half of the workers who took part in the survey stated that digitalisation had led to a stepping up of workplace monitoring.

The majority of workers in all industries (with the exception of the restaurant and café sector) confirmed that digitalisation had changed the way they work.

German workers also feel that these new technologies have been introduced into their companies and organisations without their having any say in the process.

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