Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections and their consequences for the economy, tighter measures have been (re-)implemented and various support measures have been extended recently.

Short-time work – What has changed as of 1 June 2020?

  • As of June, the extraordinary entitlement to short-time work compensation for shareholders, partners and other financially interested persons or people directly involved in the decision-making process was no longer available. The extraordinary entitlement to short-time work compensation for apprentices no longer existed, either.
  • Further, the 10 days pre-application deadline (that had been abolished) has been reinstated as per June 2020. 

Short-time work – What has changed as of 1 September 2020?

  • As of September, the extraordinary entitlement to short-time work compensation for employees in a fixed-term employment relationship and for temporary workers (loan staffing) is no longer available.
  • Further, the extraordinary regulation according to which a new pre-application had to be submitted only if short-time work was implemented for more than six months has been abolished. As of September, the original statutory law obligation, according to which a new pre-application must be submitted if short-time work lasts longer than three months, applies again.
  • As stated by statutory law and valid as from September on again, the work loss may exceed 85% for a maximum of four months.
  • Finally, the Federal Council introduced a waiting period (Karenzfrist) of one day as from September on. During the waiting period the employer is responsible for bearing the occurred work loss.

Short-time work – What is valid until 31 December 2020?

  • The simplified COVID-19 forms for the pre-application and the request for short-time work compensation may still be used. Therefore, a written consent of the employees for short-time work is still not required when pre-applying for short-time work and the short-time work compensation is still calculated as a lump sum and not yet individually as is the case under usual circumstances.
  • Overtime, respectively extra hours that were accumulated outside of the short-time work period are still not considered.
  • Income from possible interim employment is still not counted towards short-time work compensation.

Short-time work – What is valid beyond 31 December 2020?

  • The simplified COVID-19 forms for the pre-application and the request for short-time work compensation will not be used anymore; the original forms – including a written consent of the employees when pre-applying – will have to be used again from 1 January 2021 on. 
  • Overtime, respectively extra hours that were accumulated outside of the short-time work period are considered again.
  • Income from possible interim employment will be counted towards short-time work compensation again.
  • As was already applicable from September 2020 on again, the work loss may still exceed 85% for a maximum of four months beyond December 2020. The months during which the extraordinary requirements to the short-time work entitlement were applicable do, however, not count towards these four months.
  • Under normal circumstances, short-time work compensation is granted for a maximum of twelve months within two years. The Federal Council decided to increase this entitlement to a maximum of eighteen months within two years. This applies beyond 31 December 2020.

Returning from risk countries and areas – an overview

Due to the increasing infection rates not only in Switzerland but also abroad, the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH) has established a list of countries and areas with a high risk of infection that is regularly updated. People entering Switzerland after they at any point in the past 10 days spent more than 24 hours in a country or area that is listed, must – exceptions reserved – report their arrival to the competent cantonal authority and stay in quarantine for 10 days.

Whether or not the employer is obliged to continue paying salaries will depend on the individual case and particularly on the agreements concluded.

The entitlement to compensation for the loss of earnings according to the respective ordinance has been extended to people suffering from such a loss of earnings because of the quarantine obligation. This does not apply to people returning from countries or areas that were listed already upon departure, however. The compensation remains subsidiary.

EY is your partner for this challenge

We discuss with you in a personal meeting or remotely,

  • how to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 in your everyday work,
  • how we can support you in the coordination of various financial support measures,
  • and how we can support you in the implementation of further measures / changes that the pandemic’s consequences brought with them – such as home office etc.

Feel free to contact us at any time!

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