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