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Short-time work allowance: Hubertus Heil wants to increase the benefit by up to 87 percent


Minister of Labor Heil has already extended the easier drawing of short-time work benefits in the pandemic. Now there should be more money by the end of March. This should especially please restaurateurs.

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Application for short-time work allowance: incremental increase instead of 60 or 67 percent

Photo: Jens Büttner / dpa

The corona break-ins are still in the bones of many companies, now some industries such as gastronomy and retail are suffering again.

In order to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic for employees, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil now wants to enable a longer increase in short-time work allowance until the end of March.

The corresponding initiative of the SPD politician want to bring the traffic light coalition factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP on the way, as it was called from the Ministry of Labor.

An amendment is planned in the course of the deliberations on the law on corona vaccination prevention.

The increase in short-time allowance should take place gradually to up to 87 percent of the net wage difference, writes the "Rheinische Post", which first reported on the increase.

According to this, 70 percent of the net wage difference should be paid from the fourth reference month.

If a child lives in the household, the rate should be 77 percent.

From the seventh reference month onwards, 80 percent and with a child 87 percent are planned.

The rules should apply to employees who were entitled to short-time work allowance during the pandemic until March 31, 2021.

In addition, employees who have been on short-time work for the first time since April 2021 should be entitled to the higher benefit rates for the period from January to March 2022.

Cost of 150 million euros

The extension of the higher rates will cost the Federal Employment Agency (BA) an estimated 150 million euros in 2022, according to "Rheinischer Post".

To put it into perspective: In 2020 and 2021, the BA paid a total of more than 24 billion euros in short-time work benefits.

The federal government had to fund a large amount of this.

The easier access to short-time working in the Corona crisis had already been extended by regulation.

The maximum subscription period of 24 months has been extended for a further three months until March 31, 2022.

However, the extension did not refer to the increased short-time working allowance during the pandemic, which some companies had increased on their own initiative for their employees.

If the regulation expires at the end of December and no employer increases, the employees concerned would only receive 60 percent of their net salary in the future.

If they have children, it would be 67 percent.

In view of this, the hotel and restaurant association had warned of massive problems in the catering industry.

There is a risk of losing 100,000 employees if the increased short-time work allowance is not extended, said General Manager Ingrid Hartges - and referred to the nationwide restrictions and 2G rules for restaurants, clubs and discos.

Things could possibly get even worse for the industry: The parties of the traffic light coalition are considering allowing restaurants to be closed again with the new Infection Protection Act.

Last week, the prime ministers asked the federal government to create these options.

apr / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-12-07

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