Heil: coalition wants to make it easier to receive short-time benefits

Heil: Coalition wants to make it easier to receive short-time benefits

Because of the coronavirus crisis, the grand coalition wants to quickly lower the hurdles for receiving short-time benefits, according to federal labor minister hubertus heil.

In view of the economic consequences of the epidemic, "all extended instruments for short-time work" were made possible this wednesday in the federal cabinet, the SPD politician announced on twitter. "To this end, the draft for the work-of-tomorrow law will be amended."This is in the interest of the employees and the companies.

The coalition leaders of the CDU/CSU and the SPD met on sunday evening in the chancellor’s office in the coalition committee to discuss, among other things, the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus on the economy. This also involved the short-time allowance. The meeting continued late in the evening.

Among other things, heil wants to use the law to strengthen the demand for vocational training in companies affected by structural change and to extend the short-time allowance. At the end of january, the coalition committee had already passed resolutions to this effect – what else is to be added now was not yet known at the late evening meeting.

At the end of january, the coalition leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD agreed, among other things, that the government could extend short-time allowances from 12 to 24 months more easily than before. With this benefit, the state takes over 60 percent of the lost net wages when a company sends employees into short-time work. If a child lives in the household, the figure is 67 percent. Layoffs are to be avoided in this way.

Short-time allowance – according to the decision taken in january – should already be payable if there is a long-lasting loss of working hours at company level and if further training for a specific purpose takes place. So far, an extension is only possible in the event of a disruption on the entire labor market.

In the future, the federal employment agency will be able to pay half of the social security contributions for the lost hours – that was the coalition’s position before the coalition committee on sunday. Recently, demands were made by the employers that the social contributions should be taken over completely.

In view of the foreseeable serious consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, employers had urged that the plan for short-time work be implemented quickly. The metalworking employers had also demanded that the federal employment agency assume the full costs of short-time work from the first day. They warned of sales slumps, plant closures and interrupted supply chains.

Easing of the short-time allowance had helped to limit the impact on the labor market during the financial crisis.

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