Internal restructuring
Location of affected unit(s)
Public Administration And Defence
Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security
Compulsory Social Security Activities
84.30 - Compulsory social security activities

3,500 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
23 February 2014
Employment effect (start)
1 August 2014
Foreseen end date
31 December 2018


Barmer GEK, one of Germany's leading compulsory health insurers, is to cut 3,500 full-time positions by the end of 2018. The restructuring is to start in the second half of this year, including also the reduction of customer service centres from about 800 to 400.

The restructuring is part of plans to save EUR 250 to 300 million each year in order to react to the prospects of decreasing public funding through the national health fund, increasing health costs and growing competition on the insurance market. Furthermore, Barmer stated that the restructuring is also a response to changes in customer habits and the growth in online and phone services compared to face-to-face services.

Direct dismissals will be avoided and cuts are to be made socially acceptable. There is no information whether workers shall find new employment in other parts of the company.

In 2012, the company had already cut 400 jobs in the administrative headquarters in Wuppertal and Schwaebisch-Gmuend, most of which were relocated internally.


  • 23 February 2014: FAZ


Eurofound (2014), Barmer GEK, Internal restructuring in Germany, factsheet number 76639, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/76639.