The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus is already having a strong impact on the profitability of numerous companies, especially in the tourism and event industry. From an employer perspective, measures to ensure the continuity of the company should be considered. One possibility is the implementation of short-time work. For this purpose, short-time work can be applied for with the cantonal employment office. If the conditions are met, the cantonal employment office gives its approval and the company can submit an application for short-time work compensation to the unemployment insurance fund. The federal government is now also recommending this procedure to the companies concerned. Cantonal employment offices have already issued numerous permits.

The temporary introduction of short-time work serves to compensate slumps in workforce numbers and to preserve jobs. In addition, the social security protection of employees during the period of short-time work and the avoidance of gaps in contributions towards the pension funds are guaranteed.

Employees whose regular working hours are reduced or completely suspended are entitled to short-time working compensation if:

  • the employees are subject to OASI contributions or have not yet reached the minimum age for the obligation to contribute to the OASI;
  • the employees are employed in a non-terminated employment contract;
  • the stoppage is likely to be temporary and their jobs can be maintained through short-time work;
  • the stoppage is eligible.

The stoppage is considered eligible if it is due to economic reasons and is unavoidable and amounts to one tenth of the total working hours which the employees would normally work under normal circumstances.

Employees are free to refuse short-time work and demand full pay instead. This may, however, increase the risk of dismissal.