Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) does not want to extend the simplified access to short-time work allowance beyond the end of June. "The economic development and also the situation on the labor market are currently better than we could expect in the fall," said Heil of the "Rheinische Post" in justification. For example, Germany currently has the highest level of employment – despite the Corona crisis and the war in Ukraine. "That is why we will not extend the simplified access to short-time work allowance after the end of June," said the Minister of Labour. Now the issue is securing skilled workers. "We will invest more money in the qualification and further training of our employees."
At the same time, the Federal Employment Agency must be able to build up reserves for future crises, Heil said. Currently, there are only 162,000 employees on short-time work, compared to six million at the height of the Corona crisis in spring 2020. "In the years 2020 to 2022, we spent a total of 45.5 billion euros on short-time work compensation. This is an enormous sum," the minister concluded. But that paid off. In a study, the International Monetary Fund found that without the special regulations, unemployment would have risen by three percentage points at the height of the crisis in the second quarter of 2020. "This corresponds to around 1.3 million people whom we have saved from unemployment with short-time work," said the SPD politician.
Companies could also apply for short-time work compensation for their employees in the future. However, they will now return to the pre-crisis rules. According to this, at least 30 percent of employees in a company must be affected by short-time work in the future, compared to 10 percent at present.