Among the variety of aid measures put in place in the various EU countries for companies affected by the covid19 pandemic, one constant is short-time allowance.
Companies have been able to short-time (furlough) those employees in Europe, whose activity has been reduced due to restrictions pertaining to the management of the current health crisis. The common European objective was to support companies in maintaining their workforce.
However, Germany currently stands out from the rest of Europe with a unique position: foreign companies that have employees in Germany but have no fixed operational structures there are denied the benefit of short-time allowances, and this even though social security contributions are paid in Germany for these employees! This position is deemed contrary to European law by the doctrine.
My colleagues in labour law from the ESC law firm have written an excellent article on this subject : “Are foreign employers unjustly deprived of short-time work allowance?”
If you are a company concerned by this particular case, planning to still have recourse to short-term aids in 2021 (these measures are extended until the end of 2021 in Germany) for your employees residing in Germany, the preparation of your file beforehand and an accompaniment by specialized lawyers are essential to try to ensure the safeguarding of your rights.