Changes to the reduced working program – Kurzarbeit
Law no. 58/2021 for the approval of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 211/2020 on the extension of the application of some social protection measures adopted in the context of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as for the amendment of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 132/2020 on support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiological situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as to stimulate employment growth, brings some changes to the reduced working program (Kurzarbeit) regulated by GEO 132 / 2020.
The duration of the working time may be reduced by a maximum of 80% of the daily, weekly or monthly duration provided in the individual employment contract compared to a maximum of 50% as it was before the change.
In order to reduce the working time, the new law introduces the need for the agreement of the trade union organization or the agreement of the employees’ representatives at the level of the units where they exist.
The reduction of working time is established by the employer’s decision, for a period of at least 5 working days, included in the period of 30 calendar days, starting with the first day of effective application of the measure. The measure also applies in the case of shift work schedule, as well as in the case of unequal work schedule.
It was introduced the specification that the employer can modify the work schedule whenever necessary, with the obligation to justify such a change in accordance with the law.
As an exception to the rule according to which the decision to reduce working time must be communicated at least 5 days before the effective application, the communication may be made 24 hours before the effective application if the change of work schedule occurs due to the increased activity and additional staff is required or due to the replacement of an employee who is unable to perform activity.
Another change that interests is the way of calculating the indemnity that is settled by the state. Before the change, this was 75% of the difference between the gross salary in the individual employment contract and the gross salary related to the reduced program. After the change, the allowance is 75% of the gross salary related to the hours of reduction of the working hours. At the same time, it is specified that the employer can supplement the amount up to 100% without this amount being able to be settled from the state.
As an exception, it was allowed to hire staff to replace employees whose schedule was reduced if the termination of the individual employment contract ceased by law, by dismissal for reasons related to the employee’s person or by resignation.
The possibility of applying the measure was also introduced for the companies established between January 1 and March 15, 2020, which have at least 1 employee.
From the documents that must be submitted together with the request for the settlement of the amounts, the monthly verification balancesheet was eliminated and it was replaced with a declaration on the employer’s own responsibility.