Loss of working hours due to coronavirus?

How and when can you register for short-time work?

The answer in detail

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Loss of working hours due to coronavirus? How can you register for short-time work?

Updated on 19.11.2020

Delivery bottlenecks, government ordered temporary closures, or declines in demand: As a business owner, you are confronted with various challenges that lead or could lead to a loss in working hours due to the coronavirus pandemic.

You can register (in advance) for short-time work:

  • If you can prove an adequate causal link* between the loss of working hours and the occurrence of the coronavirus. 
  • If you meet the existing eligibility requirements (see the detailed information of SECO)

*What exactly does an adequate causal link mean?

A general reference to COVID-19 does not suffice when showing a connection. You must give a convincing explanation of how the decrease in working hours is linked to the pandemic. 

How do I register for short-time work?

Send the application or early application to the cantonal employment office. It is the employment office of the canton in which you have your place of business or your business is domiciled.

MyRight provides answers to frequently asked questions in connection with short-time work:

The raw materials we need for production are not available due to import/export bans. Our employees cannot do their work. Can I claim compensation for reduced working hours?

Yes, since the loss of working hours is the result of regulatory measures, you can claim compensation. To do so, first register short-time work with the responsible cantonal office. In most cantons, the department of economic affairs is responsible for this area. More information can be found on the SECO website.

The raw materials we need for production are not available because of delivery difficulties. Our machines are idle and the workers have no work. Can I claim compensation for reduced working hours?

Yes, you can claim compensation since you as the employer are not responsible for the delivery difficulties. 

The authorities ordered the closure of my business. Accordingly, my staff can no longer do their work. Can I claim compensation for reduced working hours?

Yes, you can claim compensation since the loss of working hours is due to a government order.

I have to close my business temporarily because of the pandemic. Can I claim compensation for reduced working hours for my employees?

Yes. But it’s different for people who stay home because of illness, meeting family obligations, or out of fear of becoming infected. In these cases, there is no entitlement.

Am I entitled to compensation for reduced working hours if my employees cannot come to work due to government restrictions on public transportation?

Yes, since the loss in working hours is due to a regulatory measure. Please note: If it is feasible for employees to ride a bike or drive to work, then you cannot claim compensation.

My employees have quite a bit of overtime, but I applied for short-time work. Can I as the employer require my employees to reduce their overtime and maybe even take vacation time from last year before short-time work begins?

No. Employees do not first have to reduce their overtime before they can benefit from compensation for reduced working hours.

Where can I get comprehensive information on short-time work?

The cantonal employment office can answer all of your general questions regarding forms, early application, etc. For specific questions about benefits and calculations, the corresponding unemployment office is responsible. You can also find detailed information on the measures package to reduce the economic impact and on compensation for reduced working hours on the SECO website. 

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