Labour law

COVID-19- short-time work (Kurzarbeit)

For all companies that are currently suffering from financial and economic difficulties due to the pandemic it is possible to apply for the short-time working model in an unbureaucratic and quick way. Only the federal government, the federal states, legal entities under public law, political parties, associations of municipalities and local authorities are excluded from the support by the Public Employment Service Austria (Arbeitsmarktservice). In addition, companies that have had to file for insolvency and are in bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings are also excluded.

The Corona short-time work model introduced in March 2020 has proved to be successful in recent months and helped to save many jobs.

. Since 01.04.2021we are already in phase IV of the Corona short-time work model, which is limited until 31.06.2021. However, there are only little changes in the terms of content compared to phase III. The following aspects must be taken into account:

Regulatory content:

  1. Application procedure (extension)

New social partner agreements must be concluded for phase IV. Since the lockdown has been lifted, requests (initial and extension requests) must be submitted before the start of short-time work. It is possible to submit a short-time work request via the eAMS account. The short-time work phase IV ends on 30.06.2021.

  1. . Loss of working hours

Upon all employees having consumed their remaining overtime and remaining days of vacation, a loss of working hours of at least 10% and at most 90% of the normal working hours stipulated by law or collective agreement is possible for the duration of short-time work. A complete (100%) loss of working hours is also possible. The only decisive factor is that the respective employee has worked at least 10% of their normal working hours during the entire averaging period. The calculation period refers to the respective short-time work period for which the application was submitted.

  • 30% instead of 10% minimum working time (shortfall possible with the agreement of the social partners
  • 80 % instead of 90 % maximum working time
  1. Remuneration

The employee is entitled to (reduced) remuneration for the duration of the short-time work. This is calculated on the basis of the respective employee's gross pay (before short-time work). These are flat rates, which are graded as follows:

  • for gross remuneration before short-time work of up to EUR 1,700, the employee receives 90% of the previous net remuneration;
  • for gross remuneration before short-time work up to EUR 2,685, the employee receives 85% of the previous net remuneration;
  • for gross remuneration before short-time work up to EUR 5,370, the employee receives 80% of the previous net remuneration.
  • Apprentices will continue to receive 100% of their previous apprenticeship remuneration (apprenticeship pay).

The calculated "guarantee payment" is calculated dynamically, i.e. collective agreement increases, biennial jumps but also compensations for tips (optional) are taken into account.

  1. Promotion of the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice)

The employer receives a subsidy from the Public Employment Service in the form of a short-time work aid for the time lost. This is granted at a flat rate per every hour of absence, and all social security contributions and other wage-related employer's contributions are already included. Remuneration for working time or the use of vacation days must continue to be paid by the employer.

  1. Termination and retention obligation:

During short-time work, the employees affected are generally protected against termination of their employment. However, the Public Employment Service can in exceptional cases also approve the termination of employment during short-time work. The sample form of the Chamber of Commerce provides for an additional retention period (for the period after short-time work) of one month.

  1. Willingness for further training

There will be an increased focus on the compulsory willingness for employees to undergo further training during their off time, which is remunerated by the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice). This means that employees must be willing to undergo further training during short-time work if the company offers such training.

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Important note

The information provided here is only general information and assistance. The information provided is not to be understood as legal advice from Kunz Wallentin Rechtsanwälte GmbH and cannot replace individual legal advice.

Furthermore, Kunz Wallentin Rechtsanwälte GmbH assumes no liability whatsoever for the content and accuracy of this information.