Short-time work

What does short-time work mean

Short-time work is the temporary reduction of the normal working hours for the entire company or for individual departments, with the consequence of reduced wages. The employment relationship is not terminated by short-time work, but only the obligations to pay work and remuneration are suspended by the introduction of short-time work in the same proportion.

Short-time work can be practiced very differently, e.g. B. the volume of short-time working can:

Distributed evenly over all days of the week so that no work is lost on individual days, but the same number of hours is performed every day.

Unevenly distributed, which can lead to a complete loss of work on individual days or weeks.

Legal basis

Short-time work requires a special legal basis, e.g. B. a collective agreement, or a company agreement. It can only be introduced with the consent of the works council (Section 87 BetrVG). It should be noted that the Right of direction the employer as such is not authorized to reduce the wages associated with short-time work.

The Federal Labor Office pays employees of companies with regular working hours a short-time allowance from unemployment insurance funds if there is a temporary loss of work and it is to be expected that the employees will retain their jobs as a result. Depending on the personal situation, it amounts to 60 % or 67 % of the net wage and is granted for up to six months. In exceptional cases, it can be extended to up to 24 months by ordinance (Section 67 (2) AFG). The receipt of short-time work benefits does not affect the employment relationship that is subject to health and pension insurance (Sections 162, 166 AFG).

* Attention due to the corona crisis in 2020, there were numerous changes to short-time work benefits

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