Since the COVID-19 pandemic continues to harm the economy, further measures to provide financial support to both employers and employees as well as self-employed individuals were implemented.
Who is eligible for short-time work compensation?
Due to the current exceptional situation, employees who are not in a permanent employment relationship are also severely affected by the slump in economy. The Federal Council has, therefore, expanded the eligibility for short-time work compensation to the following people:
- employees with a fixed-term employment contract
- temporary workers
- spouses who work in the company
- shareholders, partners and other financially involved people as well as people that are directly involved in the decision-making process of the company.
For the latter two, a lump sum of 3’320 Swiss Francs applies as the relevant salary (full-time equivalent).
How has the application process been simplified?
The cantonal unemployment insurance funds are still responsible for the pre-applications and the requests (within three months after each accounting period). However, in order to facilitate the application process, new forms have been designed.
There is no longer a deadline to consider for the pre-application. Further, overtime, accumulated during past months, does not have to be specified anymore when requesting the compensation. Thus, overtime does not have to be reduced in advance anymore in order to benefit from the short-time work compensation.
What do employers need to know as well regarding short-time work?
The obligation to advance the short-time work compensation has been lifted and a request for a postponement of the payment of certain social security contributions (AHV/IV/EO and ALV) can be submitted to the competent cantonal AHV compensation fund.
Furthermore, the waiting period, during which the employer must bear the work loss by itself, has been abolished.
Short-time work in the context of COVID-19: What is different?
Most of the restrictions to the entitlement of short-time work compensation have been withdrawn.
- The deadline of 10 days for the pre-application no longer needs to be considered. The Federal Council has lifted the deadline.
- The pre-application is limited to a few details using a new form especially designed for short-time work in context with COVID-19.
- The employee’s handwritten consent to short-time work is currently not necessary at the stage of pre-application.
- The waiting period, during which the employer must bear the work loss by him-/herself, has been lifted.
- The obligation to advance the short-time work compensation has been lifted and a request for a postponement of the payment of certain social security contributions is possible.
Is there a compensation for the loss of earnings that can be applied for as employee or self-employed individual?
Compensation can be applied for if an employee or a self-employed individual must take care of own children up to the age of 12 as a result of school closings and the absence of external childcare and therefore suffers from a loss of earnings. The compensation is, in principle, not paid during school holidays. For self-employed individuals, the compensation is limited to 30 days.
Compensation can also be applied for if an employee or a self-employed individual must stay in quarantine and therefore suffers from a loss of earnings. To prove this, a medical certificate is required, and the compensation is limited to 10 days for both, employees and self-employed individuals.
In order to limit the spread of the corona virus, the Federal Council has, among other things, closed certain publicly accessible facilities such as shops and restaurants and has banned public and private events. If a self-employed individual suffers from a loss of earnings as a result of one of these measures, he/she is entitled to compensation for the loss of earnings.
The compensation is subsidiary to other compensations and must be applied for to the competent cantonal AHV compensation fund.
Are there any other compensations that can be applied for?
Further specific support measures in the sense of a compensation have been provided for companies in the cultural, sports and tourism sectors. The respective compensation is usually also subsidiary to other compensations and must be applied for to the competent cantonal authority or to the Federal Office for Sport (BASPO).
Applying for short-time work?
We recommend taking the following steps before applying for short-time work and are glad to assist you:
- Determine the organizational structure of the company in order to identify whether short-time work compensation can be applied for the entire company or a business unit.
- Determine the personnel structure in order to identify which employees are eligible for short-time work compensation.
- Notify the affected employees of the intention to apply for short-time work and obtain their consent.
- Identify the reasons for the (economically justified) work loss (due to COVID-19 measures).
- Verify that all the affected employees record their working time and − if not available already − set up a time recording system immediately.
EY is your partner for this challenge
We are here for you to discuss the following questions:
- how to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 in your everyday work,
- how we can support you in the coordination of the various measures and financial support options or how we can manage these processes for you,
- how we can support you in other areas such as immigration, tax, people restructuring and many more – please refer to COVID-19 | The impact of cross-border movement – key observations and other EY blog articles on #EYsolidarity.
Feel free to contact us at any time!