Previous decisions by the Federal Council

Previous decisions by the Federal Council on COVID-19 (chronologically)

On 1 October 2021, the Federal Council extended the summarised settlement procedure for short-time working compensation (KAE). The majority of the cantons, the umbrella organisations of the social partners and the responsible parliamentary committees support the decided adjustment. The corresponding amendment to the Covid 19 Unemployment Insurance Ordinance enters into force immediately and applies until 31 December 2021.

The summarised settlement procedure was introduced in spring 2020 to enable rapid processing and payment of the KAE. In concrete terms, this means that companies have to provide less information and the unemployment insurance funds can calculate and pay the KAE as a lump sum as a percentage of the payroll. The Federal Council has already extended the summarised accounting procedure several times.

The vast majority of companies that have used short-time working since the beginning of the pandemic have only used the summarised settlement procedure. A return to the regular procedure at this point in time would have meant a considerable additional effort for all involved. The retention of the summarised settlement procedure until the end of 2021 thus supports the economic recovery of those companies that continue to rely on KAE. It also relieves the unemployment insurance funds of the burden of settling the short-time working applications submitted.

In connection with the summarised settlement procedure, overtime accumulated outside the short-time working phase still does not have to be deducted. In addition, income from interim employment is still not counted towards the KAE.

23 June 2021 - On 23 June 2021, the Federal Council increased the maximum period of entitlement to short-time working compensation (KAE) to 24 months and extended the simplified procedure for KAEs. It also decided to extend the entitlement to KAE for apprentices as well as persons in fixed-term employment and on-call workers in permanent employment relationships, introducing a new condition. The majority of the cantons, the consulted umbrella organisations of the social partners and the responsible parliamentary commission support the agreed adjustments. The corresponding amendments to the Covid 19 Unemployment Insurance Ordinance will come into force on 1 July 2021.

Due to the good epidemiological development and the opening steps realised so far, a large part of the restrictive protective measures have been dropped. However, due to the continuing basic measures, it is not possible for all companies to completely abolish the purchase of KAE. By increasing the maximum duration for receiving of KAE to 24 months, companies that so far have continuously settled KAE since the beginning of the pandemic can continue to be supported by KAE. The increase in the maximum period of receipt is valid until 28 February 2022.

With the extension of the simplified procedure, the companies and implementing agencies of the unemployment insurance can continue to be relieved. Since the opening steps are expected to lead to a decrease in the use of the KAE, the extension of the simplified procedure will initially be valid until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the "report of economically induced lost hours" will also be reintroduced. With this form, employees confirm their lost hours and declare that they continue to agree to short-time work.

The Federal Council has also decided to extend the entitlement to KAE for persons in fixed-term employment relationships, apprentices and on-call workers in permanent employment relationships until 30 September 2021. The entitlement to KAE for persons in fixed-term employment relationships and on-call workers in permanent employment relationships exists if the operational activity continues to be significantly restricted by measures ordered by the authorities. An extension of the abolition of the waiting period was waived. Thus, from 1 July 2021, a waiting period of one day, which represents the statutory minimum deductible, will apply again.

20 March 2021 - In its spring session of 2021, Parliament adopted a number of amendments to the COVID-19 Act. These amendments entered into force on 20 March 2021. In addition, the Federal Council extended the summary and simplified procedures for short-time working compensation as well as the abolition of the waiting period until 30 June 2021. You can find an overview of the changes and an application form for the adjustment of the short-time working permit by clicking on this link.

In short: the main changes (in German only)

17 February 2021 - On 17 February 2021, the Federal Council approved the dispatch on the amendment of the COVID-19 Act. These amendments will only come into force once Parliament has passed them, which is expected to take place on 19 March 2021. Only then would a concrete entitlement come into effect for those entitled to it. Temporarily, the advance notification period for short-time work is to be lifted and the permit is to be valid for up to six months.

20 January 2021 - On 20 January 2021, the Federal Council implemented the amendments to the COVID-19 Act introduced in December 2020 and expanded the already existing catalogue of measures in the area of short-time work: the waiting period will be abolished retroactively as of 1 September 2020 and until 31 March 2021. Also, the maximum period of entitlement to short-time working compensation (KAE) in the event of more than 85 per cent loss of working hours for four payroll periods will be retroactively abolished between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021. In addition, the entitlement to KAE will be extended to persons in fixed-term employment and apprentices. The extension of entitlement applies until 30 June 2021.

18 December 2020 - On 18 December 2020, the Federal Council again extended the summary procedure for short-time working compensation (KAE) until 31 March 2021. The corresponding amendments to the COVID-19 Ordinance Unemployment Insurance will enter into force on 1 January 2021. In addition, further amendments to the ordinance are already being consulted. These are being made in connection with the amendment to the COVID-19 Act recently passed by Parliament. They include the abolition of the waiting period, the non-inclusion of accounting periods for which the loss of working hours exceeds 85 per cent of the company's working hours, and the extension of the KAE entitlement to persons in fixed-term employment and apprentices. The Federal Council will formally decide on this on 20 January 2021. This will not delay the entry into force of the planned measures.

18 November 2020 - During its meeting on 18 November 2020, the Federal Council decided to propose that the winter session of Parliament urgently debate ad hoc adjustments to the COVID-19 Act. This would enable a swifter reaction to ongoing developments during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal includes that short-time working compensation payments should be extended. To secure jobs and avoid COVID-related redundancies, a renewed, targeted expansion of unemployment benefits should take place in the area of short-time working compensation. A number of the unemployment insurance-related measures introduced in spring under emergency law should be transferred into the COVID-19 Act. In particular, the entitlement to short-time working compensation should be extended to cover fixed-term employment relationships, and the grace period should be abolished.

28 October 2020 - On 28 October 2020, the Federal Council decided to amend the COVID-19 Ordinance on Unemployment Insurance. The amendment means that employees on call are entitled to short-time working compensation under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect retroactively as of 1 September 2020. The regulation provides for an entitlement to short-time working compensation for employees on call who have been employed for at least 6 months on a permanent contract or on a fixed-term contract with a contractual termination option. The changes will come into force retroactively as of 1 September 2020. They ensure that those affected are now entitled without interruption since March 2020. They are entitled until 30 June 2021.

12. August 2020 - On 12 August 2020, the Federal Council decided to retain the simplified procedure for the advance notification of short-time work and the summary procedure for the settlement of short-time working compensation (KAE) until the end of December 2020. Therefore, until 31 December 2020, only the "Process KAE COVID-19" will apply to the settlement of KAE and only the "COVID-19 forms" will be used for KAE, regardless of the justification of KAE.

Attention

  • From 1 September 2020, the majority of the extraordinary measures (expansion of the stakeholder groups, additional financial relief for companies) will cease to apply and there will be a return to the original system of KAE.
  • From 1 September 2020, the maximum duration of short-time work will be imited to three months. Consequently, permits that are more than three months old at this point in time will lose their validity. Companies that are still dependent on short-time work as of 1 September 2020 must submit a new advance notification of short-time work (observe the 10-day advance notification period).
  • The simplified procedure for advance notification and the summary procedure for settlement will continue to apply until the end of December 2020.

In addition, on 26 August 2020 the Federal Council decided on the following adjustments to the Unemployment Insurance Ordinance (AVIV):

  • The additional hours accumulated outside the short-time work phase will still not need to be deducted.
  • Income from interim employment will still not be deducted from short-time working compensation.

These regulations apply until the end of 2020.

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