Short-time work (Kurzarbeit) law changes 2021

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The laws on short-time work have been subject to revision.

On 23 June 2021, Congress extended the maximum qualifying period for short-time allowance (KAE) to 24 months and the simplified procedure for short-time allowance.

The authorisation period for short-time work was extended from three to six months until 31 December 2021.

Permits will no longer be issued for a full six months, but only until 31.12.2021. And as of 1.10.2021, permits will again be valid for only 3 months.

Furthermore, it was decided to extend the rights of apprentices, temporary workers and permanent employees to the KAE and to introduce new requirements.

All changes to the Covid 19 – Unemployment Insurance Regulation will come into force from 1 July 2021.

Register for short-time work, file for short-time work

As of 1 September 2021, advance notifications for short-time work must again be submitted by ordinary procedure. The simplified procedure no longer applies!

Applications for temporary jobs must be submitted by the employer. This must be submitted to the competent cantonal office (KAST) for pre-registration.

The pre-registration can be made online via electronic service or Excel form. Employees must agree to be sent on short-time work.

The employer must clarify this point in advance and confirm it by submitting a pre-announcement. The KAST of the canton in which the company is based is responsible for processing the advance notifications.

If the regional labour office approves short-time work, the employer must submit a further application to the chosen health insurance fund. The health insurance fund checks the eligibility requirements in detail and pays short-time allowance if the decision is positive.

Short-time work accounting 

The accounting system determines the calculation of the short-time allowance and thus its amount. COVID19 deactivates regular forms with short-time allowance KAE.

You must use the new form. The two formats are fundamentally different:

Unemployment is not reported for each employee individually, but aggregated for all employees involved.

In case of different periods of absence, it is advisable to keep an internal list of each employee in order to determine the total value of your tax return and to accurately allocate the individual salaries for each employee.

Unemployment insurance benefits are no longer assessed individually for each employee.

Instead, the total loss of time as a percentage of the target time is usually offset by the total salary.

For apprentices, for example, school time is not considered lost time, so wages and lost time are often low.

Individual workers must be paid separately for 80 % of the lost time, on the one hand to the unemployment insurance fund to compensate employers and on the other (surplus calculation).

If the correct declaration results in a surplus, the employer may allocate it at his discretion. Legally, the employer may even keep the surplus for himself.

Short-time work Holidays

It is allowed to take holidays during short-time work. However, if there is no agreement on the duration of the holiday, the employer may unilaterally determine the holiday allowance.

In the case of compulsory leave, the notice period of usually 3 months must be observed.

Short-time allowance Lucerne

With the workers’ compensation insurance (KAE), the unemployment insurance (ALV) takes over part of the wage costs for the benefit of employees who are affected by short-time work. This is intended to avoid short-term and unavoidable redundancies.

Short-time allowance Zurich

In difficult times, companies can, with the consent of the employees involved, reduce their working hours in whole or in part in order to avoid dismissal.

Unemployment insurance covers part of the wage costs of the employees involved for a certain period of time.

Work absences must be…

  • account for at least ten per cent of the working hours of the entire enterprise or an operating department (per payroll period)
  • have economic reasons
  • be unavoidable
  • be temporary

Short-time work on an hourly wage basis

If you lose your job, you will receive short-time allowance. This is equivalent to 80% of the lost income.

Short-time work Overtime

In principle, this should not happen because it means that there is enough work and the working hours are not reduced.

If you have to work overtime at short notice, your employer must compensate you accordingly.

In the case of reduced working hours, on the other hand, overtime compensation is not precisely regulated and is determined individually according to the amount of work.

Partial unemployment can be presumed if you have to work overtime more frequently in a situation of partial unemployment.

Short-time work rights and obligations

Partial unemployment can be claimed for up to 12 months. However, this period can be interrupted.

If this break lasts longer than 3 months, 12 months can be claimed again.

If you take a holiday during short-time work, you will receive full pay.

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