Short time

Short-time working in the employment relationship means the temporary reduction of normal working hours in an operation due to a significant loss of work. From the short-time work all or only part of the employees of the undertaking may be affected. The workers concerned are working short-time working less or not at all. Whether an employer may introduce short-time working and whether the right to remuneration (wage or salary ) decreased according to the workers at short-time work, is governed by labor laws.

Short-time work can be a tool to avoid during a temporary absence from work ( esp. omission of orders) terminations. To compensate in these cases the loss of earnings of workers in part, the employees may, under certain conditions, to replace income benefits from the unemployment, the so-called short-time compensation, claim. Responsible for this performance is in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency, in Austria the Labour Market Service.

  • 3.1 Height
  • 3.2 reference period
  • 3.3 Impact on other services
  • 3.4 Tax treatment
  • 5.1 Short-time allowance ( " short-time work zero")
  • 5.2 Seasonal short- time working allowance
  • 6.1 Italy

The short-time working to ease the burden of temporary bad order situation by reducing personnel costs. The workers have to take income losses, as the short-time allowance does not replace the full income. The workplace and a certain basic services are still intact. Wage and labor contractual arrangements for increases of short-time allowance of up to 100 % of the net loss of earnings are possible. Unlike dismissals or layoffs, the company can keep qualified and incorporated staff and get the plug end in companies they know how.

The rule is: the relation of short-time compensation is subordinated to the work placement. Accordingly, the Agency shall check for work in the context of short-time work if the situation on the labor market requires it, to convey the recipients of unemployment benefits in an other reasonable working conditions (§ 4 SGB III).


Social Legal requirements in the Federal Republic of Germany

According to § § 95 et seq SGB III is entitled to partial unemployment benefits if

  • A considerable loss of working hours with pay failure. Considerably is a loss of work if he due to economic reasons or unavoidable event and
  • Is temporary and
  • Is unavoidable and Avoided a loss of work is when it is mainly due to seasonal factors, the company or the industry average, based solely on operational organizational reasons, can be prevented by granting leave wholly or partly, or may be avoided, for example by the use of existing flexible working time arrangements ( § 96 para 4 SGB III).

Labor law requirements

Short-time work represents an exception to the principle that the employer has to bear the risk of job failure, thus has to continue paying in spite of non-employment of the employee compensation in the full amount if the employee has offered his labor in person ( § 615 BGB). Short-time work, with the result of the elimination of the compensation claim, the employer may therefore not order one-sided, but only when in a collective agreement, in an operating agreement ( debatable ) or in an individual agreement ( contract) has been agreed.

In companies with a works council, the arrangement of short-time work in addition is effective only if the council has agreed to the short-time work ( § 87 Section 1 Subsection 3 WCA). All it takes is not an informal settlement agreement in the case of short-time work. Short-time work can be effectively implemented only in a written operating agreement.

The requirements for an effective operating agreement short-time work are controversial. After probably the prevailing jurisprudence of the country's labor courts is " necessary that in an operating agreement on the introduction of short-time work, which is to develop normative effect for the affected labor relations, the onset and duration of short-time work, the location and distribution of working, the variety of affected by short-time working employee or the department as well as the periods in which the work is to fail completely, are set to satisfy the applicable legal standards principle of certainty "

If the short-time work is not effectively arranged under the above criteria, the employee who offers his job performance, despite the loss of work the full compensation claim. Entitled to partial unemployment benefits is not due to lack of payment failure.

For temporary workers short-time work is not permitted because § 11 para 4 AÜG. In addition, the conditions for the short-time allowance usually are not met, because loss of work is basically the industry standard in temporary employment agency. A force since March 6, 2009 exemption ended on 31 December 2011.

Collective bargaining arrangements

In addition to the social and labor legislation, collective agreements can exist.

In such a scheme, for example, an employer subsidy for remuneration of employees in short-time work, a secure employment or training measures for workers in short-time work can be arranged.

Short-time compensation


In addition to the work by the failure of all or part of reduced pay, the so-called " short pay," the worker concerned of the Federal Employment Agency, short-time allowance as compensation compensation.

The short-time allowance is 60 % ( general rate of benefit ), net income differential of the month in which the work has failed, was shortly worked (claim period). An increased benefit rate of 67 % was obtained workers regardless of their marital status, on the tax card, a child allowance is entered by at least 0.5 ( § 105 and § 106 SGB III).

The net charge difference corresponds to the difference between the flat-rate net proceeds of the nominal wage ( capped by the upper limit) and the flat-rate net proceeds of the Istentgelt. Nominal wage is the gross salary which the employee would have been without the loss of work in the basis of its regular working hours, ie after taking account of additional work achieved. Temporary Changes in contracted hours due to collective bargaining employment security agreements are not considered. Istentgelt that is actually achieved in the claim period gross salary of the employee plus all he is entitled to compensation shares. Recurring payments, such as holiday and Christmas bonuses are not included in the determination of both the target and the Istentgeltes.

For Istentgelt also such a fee will be added, as the family workers made ​​the workers from a recorded while in receipt of short-time allowance alternative employment, self-employment or activity ( § 106 para 3 SGB III). This reduces the net charge difference and thus the magnitude of the short -time allowance. Income from a second job, which was recorded prior to the purchase of short-time compensation does not reduce the magnitude of the short -time allowance to the extent that income derived is not expanded.

The Federal Employment Agency provides a table to calculate the short-time allowance available. The table shows the respective computational performance records can be read after the lump sum net monthly fees, arising from the previously determined gross nominal Gelt or the gross Istentgelt. The difference between the two read from the table computational power sets the amount of the short-time allowance.

Reference period

Short-time work is generally limited to six months ( § 104 para 1 of the SGB III). However, there are exceptional circumstances on the labor market, it can be extended by regulation to up to 24 months ( § 109 paragraph 1 No. 2 SGB III). From the possibility of extension was very often made ​​use of in the past few decades. 2012, the reference period but only 6 months. For short-time compensation claims arising in 2013 and 2014, extended to 12 months maximum period applies.

For the period from 1 January 2007 to 30 June 2007, the extended subscription period was 15 months, and thereafter until 31 December 2008, an extended subscription period of 12 months. From 1 January 2009, the reference period was for short-time working, first 18 months; the reference period was then retroactively extended in May 2009 for all claims that arose between 1 January and 31 December 2009 to 24 months. The subscription period for employees whose claim arose on short-time allowance in the period from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2010 was 18 months. The maximum subscription period for employees whose claim arose on short-time work in 2011, was 12 months. 2012 There are no extension, 2013, the maximum benefit period is again extended to 12 months.

The benefit period is uniformly applicable to all workers employed in the operation. In related interruptions of short-time allowance of one month, the period of extended accordingly, at a minimum of three months related interrupt the payment period begins again.

The Employment Agency can recipients of short-time working temporarily in another work convey (secondary employment ). Workers are obliged to report on call, from the employment agency and to accept an offered suitable employment. If they are not in such employment without good cause and despite instruction about the legal consequences, the short-time compensation is denied usually for a period of three weeks ( blocking time ). The merit of the second employment increases the actual remuneration of the employee, he receives thus less short-time compensation.

Effect on other benefits

Also for the time the purchase of short-time compensation Social security contributions are paid, so that the workers there hardly loses any claims. For the short-time allowance, contributions ( § sized for pensions, health and long term care after a fictitious fee, which usually corresponds to 80 % of the normal gross salary 166 Section 1 No. 2 SGB VI, § 232 a Para 2 SGB V, § 57 paragraph 1 sentence 1 SGB XI). These contributions, the employer must bear alone in the statutory health insurance contribution rate inclusive of 0.9 points, which has to bear otherwise the workers if he does not receive a short-time compensation ( § 249 para 2 SGB V). For the time that the employee is actually employed and made ​​to pay, he and the employer pay the social security contributions in accordance with the usual amount and distribution.

In the wake of the financial crisis from 2007 had been settled that the employers ' social security contributions is split equally reimbursed by the Federal Employment Agency. This applied to 31 December 2011 ( § 421t Paragraph 1 No. 1 of the SGB III). The federal agency reimbursed at this time the social security contributions in full, if the employer 's workers during short-time work further qualified ( § 419 paragraph 1 No. 2 SGB III ) until the end of December 2011, the social security contributions were independent of skills training from the seventh month of the short-time working accepted in full by the Federal employment Agency ( § 419 Section 1 No. 3 of SGB III).

At a later claim for parental allowance, the relation of short-time work affects performance burden. Since the amount of parental allowance determined solely by the income from previously obtained, the short-time allowance is not considered in the calculation of child support payments. Thus, a net income of € 0 is taken as a basis, for example, in " short-time work zero ".

Tax Treatment

The short-time allowance is tax-free, but subject to the tax progression.

Qualification for short-time working

During the short-time working hours may be reduced to zero if the time saved is used entirely for training. The services are also in this case, 60 % and 67 % of the last net wage. As a result of the financial crisis starting in 2007, the federal government decided in late 2008 not to restrict training opportunities to recipients of short-time allowances, but extend the funding opportunities to recipients of short-time compensation and seasonal short- time allowance.

Special forms of short-time working

Short-time allowance ( " short-time work zero")

In an operational restructuring ( operational change within the meaning of § 111 WCA) short-time allowance can also be paid if the loss of work is permanent ( § 111 SGB III). In these cases, the employee concerned shall be paid the so-called short-time allowances for maximum of twelve months in order to avoid redundancies and to improve placement prospects. Workers must be summarized in a organizationally independent unit ( beE ). This is usually a so-called transfer company, in which cross over the workers. In the transfer company attempts to qualify the worker and to communicate in new jobs. Since the workers there do not work anymore, it is also called " short-time work zero ". Such actions are performed usually due to a balancing of interests between the employer and the works council. In an accompanying social plan are services, such as the increase of the transfer short-time allowance by the (former) employer, agreed.

Seasonal short- time allowance

→ Main article: seasonal short- time allowance

Seasonal short-time working allowance ( § 101, § 102 SGB III) receive commercial employees in enterprises of the construction industry, the roofing trade, the scaffolders crafts and gardening and landscaping, if weather or economic circumstances can not be used during bad weather time.

In other countries


The Italian social security institutions INPS pays a kind of short-time compensation ( " Cassa Integrazione Guadagni ").


The first ancestor of the short-time allowance, the regime of the Kali - Law of 25 May 1910. In this Act a capacity reduction of potash industry has been prescribed. The workers were issued with a short-time care, which was paid by the German Reich.

With the " Regulation on the unemployment benefit " of 16 February 1924, the " short-time working support " was created. After the founding of the Reich Institute for job placement and unemployment insurance by the Act on Job Placement and Unemployment from July 16, 1927 the Board of Directors of the Imperial Institute was given the authority to order the granting of short-time working support with the consent of the Reich Labor Minister or permit.

The short-time working was introduced under this name with effect from January 1, 1957 by Article II of the Law amending and supplementing the Law on Job Placement and Unemployment of 23 December 1956.

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the short-time working was particularly taken in the construction industry in claim in the 1970s and 1980s, when the reduction of the operational usual working a temporary lack of orders (partly also due to weather conditions ) should be bridged in order to avoid layoffs. The expenses were, for example, for 1985 approximately 1.228 billion DM ( = 627.9 million euros ).