Noticeable rise in short-time working arrangements

After conducting monitoring interviews with all Agentur für Arbeit offices in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) has detected a sharp rise in short-time working arrangements in light of the current situation.

20 Mar 2020 | Press release no.14

Around 76,700 short-time working arrangements have been reported to Agentur für Arbeit offices around the country this week, with companies stating that the measures are required to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

By way of comparison, an average of around 600 companies reported short-time working arrangements each week in 2019. During the economic downturn at the end of 2019, around 1,000 companies reported short-time working arrangements each week.

There is a high demand in all federal states, but the situation is particularly striking in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg.

The reports are being sent from almost all sectors, but mainly transport / logistics, hotels and catering, trade fair construction and tourism.

“Unsettled employers and employees are facing considerable financial challenges and sometimes even fighting for their existence. We want to support everyone affected by this exceptional situation and prevent redundancy as much as possible”, said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the BA, on Friday in Nuremberg.

Irrespective of the current budget for short-time working allowance, the BA has around 26 billion euros in reserves.

“Short-time working allowance is a standard benefit that we pay out to anyone who meets the requirements. We’re currently trying to simplify the process, so that employers can quickly report short-time working arrangements and apply for short-time working allowance with as little paperwork as possible”, continued Detlef Scheele.
He explained that many affected companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are now confronted with short-time working arrangements for the first time, and so they naturally have many questions.

“The short-time working teams at our local Agentur für Arbeit offices are doing all they can to make and process applications as quickly as possible at this difficult time. We’re doing our part by organising lots of reinforcements”.

Employees are currently being advised on short-time working arrangements in all regions of Germany; due to the difficult situation, this advice is also being offered via online-trainigs and teleconferences, and often in cooperation with the professional associations.

The BA is now asking employers to make greater use of its online services.  Employers can report short-time working arrangements and apply for short-time working allowance online – it’s quick, safe and flexible.

Employers can find more information on short-time working arrangements and the new regulations on the BA website:

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