When is my consent required to short-time work being implemented?
An agreement to implement short-time work requires the consent of the employee or, in case a works council (“Betriebsrat”) exists for the specific entity, an employer-works council agreement (“Betriebsvereinbarung” = agreement between the works council and the employer concerning specific working conditions) on the implementation of short-time work between employer and works council.
The employee may also have already consented to being put into short-time work through having signed a specific general clause on short-time work in his/her working contract or the consent may be included in a collective labour agreement that applies to the employment relationship. Should that not be the case and for the company resp. its specific entity a works council does not exist or the works council has not contracted an employer-works council agreement, the employer must seek consent of the employee before being able to implement short-time work.
What should I consider before consenting to the implementation of short-time work?
Should your employer have to request your consent before being legally able to implement short-time work, take some time to consider whether you are willing to give your consent:
Because short-time work benefits merely amount to 60% of your net income difference (“Nettoentgeltdifferenz”) or, in case you have at least one child entitled to your financial maintenance in terms of personal income tax, 67% of your net income difference. This means in effect, that when working in short-time working 0 (= you are supposed to not work at all) you will only receive 60% resp. 67% of your (generalized) net income – a considerable loss of income!
Don’t hastily sign an already prepared declaration of consent, with which you consent the implementation of short-time work!