COVID-19 Le Chômage Partiel Aide : Employers (Part 1)

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Considering the disastrous repercussions of the measures taken to combat COVID-19 for the economy in general and employment in particular, the government has specially adapted an existing financial support mechanism: short-time working.

While recognizing that the occurrence of COVID-19 constitutes a case of force majeure, the government has instituted a system of “short-time working for cases of force majeure linked to the COVID-19 crisis”.

With a view to avoiding redundancies and maintaining jobs in companies, this mechanism provides employers directly with the cash they need to face cash-flow difficulties in paying their employees, since their company can no longer operate normally.

Of course, as the duration of this financial support is limited, the full extent of the economic impact of the current crisis linked to the fight against COVID-19 can only be measured once this crisis has effectively ended.

Which employers?

Employers in all sectors of the economy can benefit from short-time working, provided, of course, that the economic difficulties they are experiencing are directly linked to the crisis linked to the fight against COVID-19.

Obviously, a distinction must be made between employers, as government measures taken in this fight have forced some employers to close their doors by temporarily halting their activities:

  • the above-mentioned employers are automatically eligible for short-time working from the date on which the government measure in question takes effect (the file will be processed immediately by ADEM for payment);
  • other employers, who continue their activities as far as possible, will have their application for short-time working examined by the competent authority, the Comité de conjoncture, which will decide whether the employer is eligible (the file will then be processed by ADEM for payment).

It should be noted that in order to benefit from short-time working, all possibilities of maintaining a normal level of employment through the company’s own resources must be exhausted. In particular, employees are required to take all their vacation entitlement for 2019 and prior years. This requirement does not apply to 2020 leave, nor to a time savings account.

Finally, employers who are currently authorized to resume their activities may still benefit from short-time working if normal resumption of their activities has not been possible due to the crisis linked to COVID-19 (e.g. lack of goods). Employers will have to submit a reasoned request for assessment by the Comité de conjoncture.


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