Country: FRANCE

Name of Scheme: Chomage Partial

Nature of Assistance: France is currently seeking to reform its current system. Companies with 50+ employees must consult their CSE before launching a scheme, they must then gain permission (or silent consent after 15 days) from their local Prefecture.  At the moment, employers may receive financial support for up to 1000 hours per employee, per year. The payment that must be made to employees is 70% of normal gross hourly remuneration.

Further Details: The government has allocated a special addition of €8.5BN to the scheme for a period of two months.

Link for Applications: Applications may proceed online through this portal (in French). Here is the request for compensation and here a way of calculating what is due. Alternatively go here (in French).

Country: GERMANY

Name of Scheme: Short-time working allowance (Kurzarbeitergeld)

Nature of Assistance:  Problems with production or the sustaining of services could lead an employer to consider laying off workers for a brief period, or on a part-time basis. The employers should first contact the local Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit) and they will assess if she a scheme is justified. If granted, the scheme can last up to twelve months and compensate for 60-67% of net pay lost by an employee.

Further Details: Because of new legislation introduced at the end of March 2020, employers may apply for short-time working support if 10% of their workforce is impacted by the health crisis.

Link for Applications: Employers should visit here.

Country: GERMANY

Name of Scheme: EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund

Nature of Assistance: Aimed at Workers and the Self-Employed in companies making 500+ redundancies. Although intended to cope with globalisation, it also aims to provide support where job losses are due to “global financial and economic crises”.  The main problem with this fund is that it only amounts to €150M for the whole of the EU and will be quickly swamped in the present crisis.

Further Details: Details in English may be found here.

Link for Applications: Please visit the criteria and contacts pages.

Country: SPAIN

Name of Scheme:  ERTE – The Temporary Employment Regulation Scheme. New Fast-Track – ERTE Fuerza Mayor (Force Majeure) Covid-19

Nature of Assistance: Employees affected by potential redundancy may be temporarily laid off and be paid 70% of their salaries through the social security system. Employees remain on the payroll of their employer, but are not entitled to pay (or full pay) and may not be made redundant. The ERTE payment is retrospective to the date when the temporary lay-off took place and it has a maximum duration of four years – although the 70% entitlement only lasts for 6 months. To qualify for normal ERTE employee must have contributed to the social security scheme for at least 360 days in the last 6 years. However, for ERTE due to the current health crisis no pre-qualification is required and their benefits will not count towards the maximum unemployment allowance they may eventually qualify to receive if made redundant.

ERTE will be paid only on that part of working time subject to a reduction. Full hourly pay will apply to the remainder. As a first step, contact must be made by employers with the local labour authority on the basis of force majeure concerning the current health emergency. During the payment of ERTE the employer should be freed from paying all, or part, of social security payments due for affected workers.

There is a special fast-track system in force – with an answer promised within 5 days.

Those not affected by ERTE but facing redundancy may apply directly to the Agency SEPE to claim unemployment benefit. This must be done online because the offices of SEPE are closed (due to the virus) and overloaded. These links may also be used by employers for a range of purposes.

Further Details: Visit SEPE. Here is also a good summary of the ERTE procedure.

Link for Applications: Employers in Madrid should visit here. Those in Leon visit here and those in Barcelona here (Spanish language only).

Country: SPAIN

Name of Scheme: FOGSA Wage Guarantee Scheme (Severance)

Nature of Assistance: This fund was established in 1976 to guarantee the pay of workers affected by the threat of redundancy because companies are in economic difficulties, or actually file for insolvency. It is run by the Ministry of Labour and formally complies with EC Directive 987/1980. FOGASA does not apply to redundancies in companies with less than 25 employees.

Further Details: The Employment Ministry has removed relevant pages from its website. But details in English are independently provided here.  Those not affected by ERTE, but facing redundancy may apply directly to the Agency SEPE to claim unemployment benefit. This must be done online because the offices of SEPE are closed (due to the virus) and overloaded. These links may also be used by employers for a range of purposes.

Link for ApplicationsHere is a calculator to determine what support may be due.

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