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Short-Time Work Phase 4

What are the conditions for the newly extended corona short-time work?


The Corona short-time work was extended by another three months from 01.04. to 30.06.2021 (the so-called "short-time work phase 4") and adjusted accordingly. The new social partner agreement (hereinafter referred to as “SPA”) is now available.
You can find the most important information here:

The good news is that the main regulations remain the same.

Short-time work in phase 4 will continue under the same basic conditions as in phase 3:

  • During short-time work, employees continue to receive 80-90% of the net pay they received before short-time work.
  • Working time can be reduced to 30-80% of the previous working time on average during the period of short-time work.
  • In sectors affected by official closures, it is also possible to work less than these minimum working hours.
  • In the case of short-time work, employees must complete any basic or further training offered by the employer to the extent of the originally agreed normal working hours.

Application from 01.04.2021 at the earliest

Applications for short-time work phase 4 can be submitted via the eAMS account from 01.04.2021 at the earliest. A retroactive application will probably be possible for two weeks.

Voluntary tip replacement option

In November and December 2020, an increased tip replacement was applied in individual sectors directly affected by the lockdown.

Employers in certain sectors listed in the SPA (e.g. accommodation, restaurants) can now voluntarily increase the assessment basis for the pay of employees during short-time work by up to 5%. This means a higher gross pay for the employees and a correspondingly higher short-time work allowance for the lost working time.
The following must be taken into account: Other increases of the assessment basis during short-time work reduce this possibility of a 5% increase (e.g. collective agreement pay increase by 1.5% - tip replacement increase only possible by 3.5%).

Special provisions for apprentices

As before, short-time work for apprentices is generally only possible if training is ensured. At least 50% of the lost working time must be used for training.
In line with previous practice, the SPA now explicitly excludes lockdown periods from the training obligation. In addition, the external training obligation according to the SPA ends if an apprenticeship-leave exam is passed before short-time work ends.

Duty to inform

As in the case of short-time work in phase 3, the company must provide the trade union with written information on the use of short-time work upon request after the short-time work ends. A copy must be sent to the works council (if any).

Now, upon trade union request, evidence of the type of employment termination during the short-time work and the retention period must also be submitted if the number of employees is reduced.

Economic justification

As before, the economic justification for short-time work in Annex 1 of the SPA must be signed by a tax advisor, accountant, or auditor if a company applies for short-time work for more than five employees.

The SPA now explicitly states – in line with previous practice – that this signature is not required if companies are in lockdown at the start of short-time work or apply for short-time work only for the period of lockdown.


Florian Hörmann
Florian Hörmann