Article:

Short-time work phase 5

08 July 2021

Thomas Neumann, Director |
Claudia Sonnleitner, Senior Manager |

Phase 4 of Corona short-time work ended with June 2021. From July 1, 2021, the new and adapted short-time working model will apply. There are now two variants:

  • Corona short-time work for particularly affected companies
  • Corona short-time work for all other companies

Businesses that were assessed for sales tax in 2019 and 2020 and had a decrease in sales of more than 50% in the 3rd quarter of 2020 compared to the 3rd quarter of 2019, or are affected by an entry ban imposed after July 1, 2021, are considered to be special affected businesses. Currently, no businesses are affected by an entry ban.

For particularly affected companies, minimum working hours and aid remain the same. They change for all other companies.

 

Period

Corona short-time work phase 5 is valid in the period from 1.7.2021 to 30.6.2022 at the latest. The duration of the granting of aid is limited to a maximum of 6 months.

However, the special regulations for particularly affected companies apply until December 31, 2021 only. If it is intended to continue short-time work in 2022, a new request must be submitted.

 

Retroactive application

The new social partner agreements (form version 10.0), which have been available on the AMS homepage since July 1, must be used for all short-time work applications in phase 5. It will probably only be possible to retroactively submit applications for short-time work projects from 19.7.2021 with a start date from 1.7.2021. There is a transitional period of one month from the time the application is made available via the eAMS account, i.e. until presumably 18.8.2021. After this transitional period has expired, short-time work projects must be applied for before the short-time work begins.

 

New process

For companies that have already been on short-time work in phase 4, the procedure remains unchanged. Consequently, the application and social partner agreement must be uploaded to the eAMS account as before via automated procedure.

All other companies that have not been on short-time work between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021 must contact the relevant regional AMS office before starting short-time work and also undergo a consultation procedure (with AMS, WKO and trade union) that usually lasts three weeks. Only then may short-time work be started.

 

Short-time work allowance

The short-time work allowance will continue to be calculated according to the previous principles (difference method). A significant difference to phase 4, however, is that the subsidy calculated in this way is reduced by 15% phase 5. This means that only 85% will be paid out.

However, this discount does not apply to particularly affected companies. They will continue to receive 100% of the aid. However, this special regulation is limited until 31.12.2021. Until the AMS IT is adjusted, however, the 15% difference must be applied for separately to the AMS in the context of a change request.

 

Lost working time

In phase 5, the average loss of working hours during the short-time working period may not be less than 20% and not more than 50% of normal working hours. For particularly affected companies, the loss of working hours can also be up to 70%, and in individual special cases even up to 90%.

This means that the minimum working time is generally 50% or, in the case of particularly affected companies, 30%. Individual exceptions are still possible. Within the short-time working period, periods of downtime of up to 100% are also permissible, provided that the minimum working time is not undercut on average. Explicit approval by the social partners is required for a reduction below the minimum working time (Annex 2).

 

Vacation consumption

NEW: In phase 5, depending on the duration of the short-time work, up to three weeks of vacation must be taken within the short-time work period - unlike before. This applies when employees have that much vacation credit (no anticipation).

  • Short-time working period up to 1 month àno compulsory vacation consumption
  • Short-time working period more than 1 month in any caseà1 week vacation consumption
  • Short-time working period more than 3 months in any caseà2 weeks vacation consumption
  • Short-time working period more than 5 months in any caseà3 weeks vacation consumption

Attention: Without this vacation consumption, the allowance for the AG will be reduced!

 

Economic justification (Annex 1)

Attachment 1 shall include, among other things, the monthly sales performance of the company since July 2019, in particular for the purpose of assessing whether the company is a special affected company.

The confirmation from the tax advisor/auditor will continue to be omitted if short-time work is applied for for no more than 5 employees. Regardless of the number of employees, the confirmation will no longer be required in the future for companies that are directly affected by an imposed ban on entering the company or that only apply for short-time work subsidies for the period of an imposed ban on entering the company. However, no companies are currently affected by an entry ban.

 

Restriction of the obligation to retain (Annex 3)

The agreed number of employees must be maintained during the short-time working period and during an additional agreed period after the end of the short-time working period (retention period) and may only be reduced in exceptional cases.

NEW: As of July 1, 2021, employees may be exempt from short-time work if they are registered with the AMS for the early warning system pursuant to Section 45a AMFG in the context of mass dismissals. There is then no backfill obligation for these employees. However, the trade union must agree to this restriction of the obligation to retain employees in advance (new supplement 3).

 

Continuing education

The subsidy offer for further training during short-time work has been made even more attractive in phase 5. Companies will receive full reimbursement of personnel costs for training courses held during the downtime via the short-time work subsidy. The subsidy rate for material costs (i.e., costs of training and continuing education courses) is now generally increased from 60% to 75%.

Attention: Further training that has already started in phase 4 and is still ongoing in phase 5 must be reapplied for in phase 5!