Many companies have introduced short-time working in the last
months, which is still attributable to the tough business situation
in the Euro zone. Against this background, employer associations
and trade unions have demanded this autumn to extend the period of
the entitlement to draw short-time allowance beyond the statutory
maximum period of six months (Section 104 SGB III [German Social
The Federal Ministry of Employment (BMAS) has now exercised its
legal authority to issue regulations and has extended that period
to 12 months. The regulation entered into force on 14 December 2012
and will be applicable until 31 December 2013.
At the publication of the regulation the BMAS has simultaneously
suggested that the companies use the period of short-time working
for carrying out preventive health care and occupational health
protection measures. It expressly stated that the free time that
became available could be proactively used for preventive health
care or occupational health protection measures to promote the
health of the employees and their employability. These measures do
not preclude the entitlement to draw short-time allowance.
With this further-reaching recommendation, the BMAS stringently
pursues its approach it has taken since the beginning of this year
to position and further the workplace health promotion in all
companies. As regards the workplace health promotion the companies
have to observe the key point that the funding available from the
employers' liability insurance associations or the health
insurances is often subject to the internal participation of the
employees' representatives (works councils or trade
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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