For you as an employee

What happens to your employment if short-time work is introduced?

When your employer decides to introduce short-time work at your workplace or unit, your employment relationship remains essentially the same. Short-time work means that your working hours are temporarily reduced, which can last for up to six months, with the possibility of an additional three-month extension. Thanks to the state support, your salary will not be reduced to the same extent as your working hours. With a 20% reduction in working hours, your salary will be reduced by 12%, and with a 40% reduction, your salary will be reduced by 16%.

Can you take another job during short-time work?

During short-time work, the employer determines how the working hours are distributed but has no control over your free time. Therefore, you do not need to be available to the employer when you are not working and can choose what you do during that time. However, it may be difficult to take other jobs because your working hours with your current employer may vary. It is important to consider your duty of loyalty to your employer, which means that you must prioritize the employer's interests over your own and avoid harming the business. Also, check if there are rules about side jobs in your collective agreement and make sure that your jobs do not compete with each other.

What happens if you refuse short-time work?

If short-time work is regulated in a collective agreement and the employer decides to introduce shortened working hours, that is what applies. Refusal to participate can be considered work refusal, which is a valid reason for termination for personal reasons. If there is no agreement on short-time work in the collective agreement or if your employer is not a party to a collective agreement, your written consent is required for short-time work to apply. If you refuse to sign, you may risk termination due to lack of work, as the employer must prioritize the possibility of reducing the workforce before they can apply for state support.

For employers

What does short-time work mean for your employer?

Employers experiencing temporary and severe economic difficulties can, under certain circumstances, apply for support for wage costs. These difficulties should be a consequence of external events that could not be foreseen or avoided. The support is provided to otherwise well-functioning businesses and means that employees temporarily reduce their working hours and salary. An employer can apply for support for short-time work for a period of six months, with the possibility of an additional three-month extension. The costs are shared between the employer, the employee, and the state, with the state covering one third of the cost, regardless of the extent of the reduction in working hours.

What requirements must employers meet to qualify for support?

The conditions for receiving support for short-time work are strict. The company must demonstrate that it has been affected by temporary and severe economic problems caused by unforeseeable circumstances. In addition, the employer must prove that active measures have been taken to reduce personnel costs, such as laying off non-critical staff. The support is only granted to competitive businesses. If the company is in bankruptcy, a control balance sheet must be prepared, or the company must be subject to reconstruction.

Must the employer lay off employees before support is granted?

Yes, the employer must first explore other options to alleviate the economic problems, including laying off employees, before they can apply for support for short-time work. If extensive layoffs are possible, the company will not be granted support. The employer should investigate which employees are critical to the continuity of the business and explain why layoffs are not sufficient to solve the economic difficulties.

What applies to employers covered by collective agreements during short-time work?

In order for an employer with a collective agreement to be eligible for state support, there must be a central agreement between the trade union organization and the employer organization. Then, local parties must determine the extent of the short-time work in local agreements.

Can employers without collective agreements apply for support?

Yes, employers without collective agreements can also receive state support for short-time work, but there are specific requirements to meet. At least 70% of employees at the operating unit must approve the agreement on short-time work in writing. The agreed reduction in working hours and salary must be equal for all participating employees within the unit.

How are the employees covered by short-time work determined?

If there is a central collective agreement on short-time work, a local agreement must determine how it should be applied and which employees are covered. If there is no collective agreement, at least 70% of the employees within the operating unit must provide written consent to participate. The reduction in working hours and salary should then be equal for all participating employees within the unit.

In summary

  • Individuals who are entitled to parental leave have the right to be on leave until the child is 8 years old.
  • Leave must be notified to the employer at least two months in advance.
  • Parents can be completely on leave for up to 18 months without parental benefit, and then according to the extent of the parental benefit.
  • Parents have the right to a reduction in working hours and can work up to 75% of full time until the child turns eight years old.
  • Employers must not discriminate against employees or applicants due to parental leave.
  • From 1 July 2024, parental benefit days can be transferred to someone other than the other parent, which expands the circle of those who can take parental leave.

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