Short-time work phase III – changes due to lockdown ‚light‘

Kurzarbeit & Lockdown

With the so-called Phase III, the possibility of taking advantage of short-time Corona work was extended (by a maximum of six months). This phase can be used from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Basic regulations for short-time work III

The main (new) features of phase III are:

  • A reduction of the maximum working time to a maximum of 80% (previously 90%) of the previous normal working time before short-time work. At the same time, the minimum working time will be increased to 30% (previously 10%), although it may go below this limit in exceptional cases.
  • Employees on short-time work receive 80%, 85% or 90% of their previous net wage, depending on the level of their regular pay. As before, companies have to pay for the work actually performed; the difference is reimbursed via the AMS (Arbeitsmarktservice – Employment Service Austria).
  • Collectively agreed increases and individual salary advances are taken into account within the framework of the net wage guarantee (“wage dynamics”).
  • A mandatory willingness for further training on the part of the employee during the downtime caused by short-time work. If the employer offers further training measures (to the extent of the originally agreed normal working hours), these must be utilized by the employee. The AMS will cover the costs of the advanced training courses offered.
  • A further new point is a forecast calculation that must be submitted together with the social partner agreement, in which the further economic development of the company is taken into account. In the case of applications for short-time work with more than five employees affected by short-time work, this economic concern must be checked for plausibility by a tax advisor / accountant / auditor.



Adaptation of short-time work due to the lockdown

Due to the new protective measures as well as the associated restrictions that apply from 03 November 2020 (‚lockdown light‘) and the hard lockdown measures applied as of 17 November 2020, the social partners have agreed on a modification of short-time work.

For companies directly affected by the lockdown (i.e. prescribed official closure) the following applies:

  • If the average 30 percent minimum working time is not reached, the standard procedure is used again and does not require the explicit approval of the social partners.
  • A work performance of 0% is also possible during the lockdown period. A decrease below the approved minimum working time of 10% or 30% on average is not a disadvantage.
  • The tax advisor / accountant / auditor does not have to confirm the economic justification for short-time work.

The following changes will be brought into effect for all other companies:

  • A retroactive initial application as of 01 November 2020 will be possible until the end of the lockdown period.
  • Companies that have already entered phase III in October 2020 and have applied for working hours of 30% or more can subsequently submit a change request with a higher loss of working hours.
  • The confirmation of the economic justification for short-time work by the tax advisor / accountant / auditor does not apply if the short-time work request is only made for the month of November.

03 November 2020

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