Answers to new short-time work: This is how the state pays your personnel!

The regulations on short-time work were revised and extended several times during the COVID-19 crisis.

The regulations apply to all employers, except for local authorities, political parties and legal entities under public law.

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Headshot Mag. Ingo Braun

Mag. Ingo Braun

  • Retroactive effect: Applications can be submitted retroactively to 1 March 2020..
  • Short-time work is possible for all employees, including directors (if employed) and apprentices (if supervision and quality of the training does not suffer (and the Vocational Training Act (BAG) is amended). Short-time work is also possible with flexitime and leased personnel.
  • Duration: 3 months, with the possibility to extend by 3 months.
  • Working time: up to zero hours is possible, but in the short-time work period the working time must be at least 10%.
  • Subsequent change in working time is possible, if agreed by the employees concerned, of which the “social partners” (i.e., Chamber of Commerce and union) must be notified 5 working days in advance.
  • Termination of employment during short-time work and one month thereafter is not permitted, but can be agreed upon differently in special circumstances.
  • Overtime is only permitted if agreed with the social partners and must be restricted to certain areas.

Employees must use up holiday entitlements from previous holiday years and time credits before or during short-time work at the request of the employer. This does not apply to “long-term credit”, which means time off options, sabbatical models and the like. If short-time work is extended, a further 3 weeks of the current vacation must be used up during short-time work at the request of the employer.

The new s.1144(3) and (4) General Civil Code (ABGB) (probably in force as of 21 March 2020) also provides for a statutory obligation of employees to use up their vacation time at the employer’s request, limited to a total of up to 8 weeks from teh current vacation year and without time off options.

Employees in short-time work receive reduced remuneration, which amounts to 80-90% of their previous remuneration, but not more than EUR 4,296.00. Apprentices receive 100%.

The employer receives the costs for lost working hours according to fixed flat rates in the next month. The flat rates include all social security contributions, other wage-related employer’s contributions and pro rata vacation and Christmas benefits.

Required is an agreement between the social partners, a request to the employment agency (AMS) and a commercial justification. Authorisation should be granted within 48 hours, for which advance information to the AMS is advisable.


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