Update on short-time work: social partner agreement

Due to the current lockdown, which again endangers employment and companies - especially winter tourism businesses - the federal government and the social partners have agreed on the following key points. However, the implementation in the AMS Short-Time Work Directive remains to be adopted.


Amount and duration of aid

The increased subsidy (100% subsidy) currently in place until 31 December 2021 for particularly affected companies will be extended until 31 March 2022. Particularly affected companies continue to be those with a decline in sales of more than 50% between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020 or those directly affected by the lockdown (official entry ban). The increased subsidy is also available beyond the lockdown period, until 31 March 2022 at the latest.

However, the possibility to apply for short-time work beyond 31.12.2021 with the increased aid will only exist from 6.12.2021. Until then, companies directly affected by the lockdown (official entry ban) can only request the reduced aid for short-time work for a period beyond 31 December 2021 and are then dependent on a request for a change in order to receive the 100% aid. This also applies to companies that were already in short-time work and were suddenly directly affected due to the lockdown. Requests for changes can be made until the end of the short-time work project, at the latest until 31 March 2022.

Short-time work is possible for a maximum of 24 months and ends at the latest on 31 March 2022 for companies that have been on short-time work since March 2020.


Simplified procedure

Companies directly affected by the lockdown can start short-time work as of 22 November 2021 and submit the application to the AMS four weeks retroactively. For them, no confirmation of their economic justification by a tax advisor (Annex 1) is needed.

The previous consultation procedure will be suspended for all companies wishing to introduce short-time work before the end of 31 January 2022. A simplified procedure will now be reintroduced for all short-time work applications lasting until 31 March 2022 at the latest. Explicit approval is now only required for short-time work projects with a loss of working hours of more than 50% that extend beyond 31 March 2022 or if the  retention obligation or period shall be restriced.

The AMS recommends submitting an application, if possible, only from 6 December 2021 (after the revised AMS short-time work guideline and the corresponding adjustment of the eAMS account are available). As of this date, the question regarding a completed consultation process will be removed in the request. Until then, the field "counselling procedure completed" in the application must always be answered with "YES".


Bonus for long-term short-time workers

Employees who have been on short-time work for at least 10 months since October 2020 and are still on short-time work in November 2021 and have a gross wage of less than EUR 2,775 in November 2021 are expected to receive a one-off bonus of EUR 500 in April 2022. This is to be handled by the Federal Accounting Agency. The legal basis for this is currently being prepared.


Tip substitute

As a substitute for the tip, employees in individual sectors (including accommodation, catering, hairdressing and beauty salons) will receive increased remuneration for the duration of short-time working from December 2021. This results in a 5% increase of the assessment basis for their remunerationas well as of the allowance to which companies are entitled. Employers in these sectors must declare the increase in the assessment basis to the AMS and pay the correspondingly higher remuneration, otherwise the application may be rejected or the aid may not be granted!


Season opening aid for tourism businesses

One of the prerequisites for claiming short-time work is that the respective employee has previously been paid for a full calendar month. Since closed seasonal businesses, which are affected several times anyway due to lockdown, travel warnings and 2G rules, cannot meet this requirement, a so-called seasonal opening aid for tourism businesses is now being introduced to support the start of the winter season.

Seasonal businesses are businesses that are closed for more than three months of the year or businesses with fluctuations in employment levels with deviations of at least one third upwards or downwards in at least three months. Closed seasonal businesses that hire their staff registered in Austria between 3.11. and 12.12.2021 (or 17.12. in Upper Austria) as fully insured employees receive 65% of the assessment basis (monthly gross salary without special payments and overtime, but including 50% ancillary wage costs) as the seasonal opening aid from the AMS. This seasonal start-up aid is due including the first fully paid calendar month, therefore until 31 December 2021 or 31 January 2022). After that, either normal employment or short-time work follows. However, family members (spouses, life partners, sister-in-law/brother-in-law, etc.) are not eligible. Similarly, persons who were already employed by the same employer and whose employment relationship was terminated after 25.11.2021 are not eligible.

It is expected that an application will be possible via the eAMS account from 10 January 2022 (subject to the approval of the grant by the European Commission and the legal basis created to finance this grant).



Abonnieren Sie die neuesten Nachrichten von BDO.

Please fill out the following form to access the download.