The new AMS directive, which came into force retroactively on August 21, 2020 (published by the AMS only a few days ago), has now clarified how companies that have already made use of six months of short-time work (phases 1 and 2) before the end of September can bridge the period until the start of phase 3, which will apply from October 1, 2020 and in which short-time work can be applied for for a further six months. Furthermore, the possibility of a retroactive application was created for persons who do not have a fully paid month before the start of short-time work, and at the same time the relevant recovery of subsidies was clarified.
Expansion of phase 2
In addition to the 3 months initial grant (phase 1) and the 3 months extension (phase 2), aid may be granted for the remaining period until the start of phase 3 for a maximum of one further month, but no longer than September 30, 2020. Thus, the new AMS guideline allows companies that already started short-time work at the beginning of March a 7th month of short-time work. This extension of the existing short-time work agreement (phase 2) is to be submitted to the AMS by means of a request for amendment before the last partial settlement is submitted, but no later than September 30, 2020.
However, if the last partial settlement has already been submitted, a request for extension can be submitted 3 weeks retroactively (after the start of the extension as stipulated in the social partner agreement), but no later than 30.9.2020.
If you wish to take advantage of this possibility of extending short-time work for your company until the end of September, we kindly ask you to contact us as soon as possible.
New employees (no fully paid month before short-time work)
The new AMS guidelines now stipulate that allowances granted to persons who do not have a fully paid month before short-time work must be reclaimed. If you have applied for benefits for employees who do not have a fully paid month before the start of short-time work, this change in the law means that there is a risk that the benefits already received will be reclaimed.
However, it is possible to retroactively submit a new request until September 30, 2020 at the latest for the persons concerned. In this new request, the start date of the short-time work must be adjusted accordingly so that the requirement of the fully paid month before the start of short-time work is met. A new social partner agreement is also required for this new request. In addition, proof of the payroll account is required.
We therefore kindly ask you to inform us as to whether we should make a corresponding request for the employees concerned.
Furthermore, a provision has been added for the case of natural disasters (such as floods, avalanches, snow pressure, landslides, hurricanes or earthquakes) or comparable events (such as fire damage) which only affect individual companies, according to which the inter-company social partner agreement can be waived in such cases. In these cases, short-time work is implemented on the basis of a company agreement or agreements with the affected employees. If such events are indicated accordingly in the request for the introduction of short-time work, the request can also be made 3 weeks retroactively to the start of short-time work, but no later than September 30, 2020.