The companies worst hit by the Corona measures fear that they will still need support for an indefinite period of time. But now, of all times, the end of the short-time work allowance threatens.
Companies such as clubs and bars have suffered severely from the Corona measures.
Thanks to short-time work compensation, the wages were secured. But anyone who had to access it after the start of the pandemic could soon no longer receive any compensation.
The clubs and bars never had normal operation during the entire pandemic.
The short-time work allowance has secured the wages of many employees.
But now the end of the compensation is imminent.
Affected companies fear layoffs.
The Federal Council is therefore examining another extension.
Bars and clubs were closed during the Corona crisis, and travel agencies waited in vain for customers and Customers. The measures to combat the pandemic have caused numerous businesses to bleed. Thanks to short-time work compensation, the employees' wages were secured.
But from March 2022 this is no longer certain. Because the exception regulation of the maximum subscription period of 24 months within the framework period of two years only lasts until the end of February. After that, it falls back to twelve months, as confirmed by a spokesman for the responsible federal office, Seco.
Companies that only accessed short-time work compensation after the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 and have been doing so for more than twelve months now are threatened with gaps. Anyone who has received short-time work compensation since May 2020 will no longer receive it for the coming months of March and April, because from March only twelve months maximum payment period will apply.
Only from May this company could again short-time work within a new framework period apply for. Then again for twelve months within two years.
Almost 8000 companies are still receiving short-time allowances
For the companies concerned, these loopholes would be a “severe blow,” as a spokesman for Knecht Reisen said about 20 minutes. Although there are only a few companies left, in October there were fewer than 8,000 companies that made use of short-time allowances, according to David Marmet, ZKB Chief Economist Switzerland. And since then it should have become even less.
But 60 percent of bars and clubs in Zurich currently have employees on short-time work, according to a survey among members of the Bar & amp; Club Commission Zurich revealed. According to Alexander Bücheli, spokesman for the industry association, most companies had employees on short-time work for the entire duration of the pandemic, “because it was never normal for our industry”.
A corresponding number of companies would be affected by the end of short-time working and would have problems. “For closed, but also half-open companies, paying the staff, even for just one month, can no longer be financed after a two-year pandemic,” says Bücheli.
The Zurich Club X-Tra, which is closed until January 24th due to the current 2G-Plus rule, would be affected. If the short-time work allowance should expire while the measures remain in place, there would be no avoiding layoffs, says managing director Jürg Burkhardt to 20 minutes.
“But even with further easing of the measures, we will have a challenging year ahead of us,” said Burhardt. Concerts and company events planned for spring/early summer have already been postponed. Burkhardt therefore says: «We expect that we will be dependent on support for an indefinite period of time.»
Federal Council is considering extension
But there is hope. In the coming weeks, the Federal Council is to examine an extension of the maximum period of benefits until June 30, 2022 and will then decide on this as soon as possible, according to Seco (see box).
Extension possible until the end of 2022
The maximum duration of short-time work compensation has already been extended from the usual twelve months to 24 months. The Federal Council could extend this again until the end of the year. If more time is then required, a change in the law would be required. According to Seco, short-time work only guarantees lost work that is not self-inflicted, but not the lost sales. Self-employed persons and company owners can also apply for income replacement as further instruments. In addition, according to Seco, there is still the possibility of supporting companies through the hardship regulation so that they can cover part of their fixed costs.
David Marmet from the ZKB would find an extension to be sensible and believes that the existing measures are in place Even in the event of a new massive slump in the economy due to corona measures, it will suffice. “What has proven itself in the crisis, such as the Covid loan, would be sufficient if there was another wave,” says Marmet.
Economiesuisse chief economist Rudolf Minsch does not even fear a wave of layoffs should the Federal Council decide against an extension . “The economy has recovered much more positively than expected,” says Minsch. In addition, many companies tend to have a shortage of employees because many had left the company when they were affected by the shutdown.
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