Germany extends simplified access to short-time work funds


Companies in Germany will continue to benefit from simplified access to short-time work funds, a form of state aid to avoid layoffs during crises, as the government decided to extend the application deadline by three months till September.

German companies using the short-time work scheme for the first time, or reintroducing the scheme after an interruption, would be granted simplified access for short-time work benefits until the end of the year, reports Xinhua news agency.

In order to give companies and employees “a fair perspective” to secure jobs and to ensure that German companies remain in business, it would be important to “extend the strong bridge of short-time work”, Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil said in a statement on Wednesday.

The German government would continue to fully reimburse social security contributions for short-time work until the end of September, he added.

Under the relaxed conditions, companies in Germany can register for short-time work benefits if at least 10 per cent of employees are affected by the measure, according to the government.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the threshold was three times as high, at 30 per cent.

According to recent figures from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), 2.61 million German employees still received short-time work benefits in March.

To date, the highest number of people on short-time work in Germany was reached in April last year, when the figure stood at just below six million.