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Nexia Ebner Stolz

Legal Advice

Short-time working as a result of the Corona crisis

As a result of the Corona crisis, the capacity utilization of the workforce in numerous companies is falling significantly. Staff reductions are in the offing. This is to be avoided by easing the burden of short-time working compensation.

The nume­rous Coro­na­vi­rus infec­ti­ons and state-impo­sed qua­ran­tine mea­su­res are not only lea­ving their mark on the capi­tal mar­kets and eco­no­mic fore­casts. Due to deli­very dis­rup­ti­ons, mis­sing custo­mers and can­ce­led orders, the work­force of nume­rous com­pa­nies is no lon­ger being suf­fi­ci­ently uti­li­zed. In order to avoid end­an­ge­ring the com­pany, a reduc­tion in per­son­nel will pro­bably be necessary in many cases.

Short-time working as a result of the corona crisis

To coun­ter­act this, the coa­li­tion com­mit­tee of the gover­ning coa­li­tion at the federal level already pas­sed a reso­lu­tion on 8 March 2020, among other things, to reduce the con­di­ti­ons for clai­ming short-time wor­king com­pen­sa­tion.

The Bun­des­tag and Bun­des­rat had already pas­sed a cor­res­pon­ding ordi­nance on 13 March 2020. This allows the Federal Govern­ment to make the fol­lo­wing modi­fi­ca­ti­ons to the requi­re­ments through an ordi­nance wit­hout the appro­val of the Bun­des­rat, limi­ted until the end of 2021:

  • The quorum above which a loss of ear­nings is con­s­i­de­red to be sub­stan­tial may be redu­ced to up to 10% of the emp­loyees emp­loyed in the com­pany who are affec­ted by a loss of ear­nings of more than 10% of their monthly gross salary. Curr­ently, at least one-third of the work­force must be affec­ted.
  • At pre­sent, a loss of wor­king hours is con­s­i­de­red avo­i­da­ble, so that there is no entit­le­ment to short-time com­pen­sa­tion if it can be avo­i­ded in whole or in part by taking advan­tage of fluc­tua­ti­ons in wor­king hours per­mit­ted in the com­pany. Howe­ver, the build-up of nega­tive wor­king time balan­ces should be avo­i­ded in whole or in part.
  • Full or par­tial reim­bur­se­ment of emp­loyer's social insurance con­tri­bu­ti­ons for emp­loyees recei­ving short-time work com­pen­sa­tion can be intro­du­ced.

The Federal Mini­s­try of Labor and Social Affairs points out on its home­page that these relief mea­su­res are to take effect retroac­ti­vely as of 1 March 2020 and that short-time work com­pen­sa­tion is to be paid out retroac­ti­vely accor­din­gly. The­re­fore, com­pa­nies could already now apply for short-time work accor­ding to the modi­fied requi­re­ments.

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