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Procedure descriptions

Apply for short-time allowance

In economically difficult times, employment costs can be burdensome for the business. For example, if companies experience a loss of work due to an acute crisis situation because production has to be curtailed due to a lack of supplies, short-time work may be indicated. During short-time work, employees temporarily work less or not at all. The short-time allowance then partially compensates for the loss of earnings. It is intended to relieve the burden on your company and help preserve jobs.

Employers are responsible for reporting lost work and applying for short-time allowance. Employees do not have to do anything. Short-time work can be introduced for the company or limited to individual departments. The amount of short-time allowance depends on the respective income of the employees and the actual loss of work / earnings during short-time work:

  • 60 percent of the net lost wages for employees without a child in the household
  • 67 percent of the lost net wage for employees with at least one child in the household.

You will receive short-time allowance at the earliest from the calendar month in which your notification of the loss of working hours is received by the Federal Employment Agency. Short-time allowance is a reimbursement benefit. As an employer, you initially make advance payments when paying wages and salaries to your employees. The short-time allowance is settled monthly in arrears with the Federal Employment Agency at the payroll office and paid to you retroactively.

Temporary changes to the regulations governing short-time allowance are possible.

For example, the regulations for short-time allowance were temporarily changed due to the Corona crisis. The changes relate, among other things, to the extension of the period for which short-time allowance is paid, the inclusion of minus hours, the inclusion of income from secondary employment, entitlement to short-time allowance for temporary workers and a gradual increase in short-time allowance. You can find out more on the website of the Federal Employment Agency.



Short-time allowance can be applied for in the event of temporary and unavoidable loss of working hours

  • for economic reasons or
  • as a result of an unavoidable event (for example, temporary official plant closure).

Minimum requirements:

  • An employee is only entitled to short-time allowance if at least one-third of the workforce is affected by a loss of pay of more than 10 percent of gross pay in each case. Due to the Corona crisis, the percentage of employees who must be affected by the loss of pay has been temporarily reduced to at least 10 percent. For more details, visit the Federal Labor Agency's website.

Operational requirements:

  • Your company or company department employs at least one employee.
  • Short-time allowance can also be granted for only one operating department.

Personal requirements:

  • Employees subject to social security contributions who have not been laid off and with whom no termination agreement has been concluded.

Further prerequisite:

  • Notification of work stoppage to the Federal Employment Agency, enclosing a statement from the works council.


You can apply for short-time allowance in writing or online. The procedure is two-stage: First you indicate the loss of work, then you submit the application.

If you want to apply for short-time allowance in writing:

  • You give your employees notice of the short-time work. Often, a works agreement is concluded with the works council for this purpose. If there is no works council, you must obtain the consent of all employees who will be affected by the short-time work.
  • You report the short-time work in writing to the responsible office of the Employment Agency (notification of loss of working hours).
  • The Employment Agency examines the notification and decides whether short-time allowance can be granted.
  • You calculate the wage and salary payments and the short-time allowance on a monthly basis.
  • You pay the wages and salaries for hours worked and the short-time allowance for hours lost to your employees and pay the social security contributions.
  • You apply monthly in arrears for reimbursement of the short-time allowance from the relevant office of the Employment Agency (application for short-time allowance and payroll list).
  • The Employment Agency checks the application and the settlement list, and approved short-time allowance is transferred.
  • After the short-time work has been completed, the Employment Agency checks the submitted settlements and, if necessary, corrects the approved short-time work allowance.

If you want to apply for short-time allowance online:

  • You submit the notification of work loss, the application for short-time allowance and, if necessary, other documents via the "eServices" online portal of the Federal Employment Agency.
  • The remaining procedural steps correspond to the written procedure.


You will receive short-time allowance at the earliest from the calendar month in which your notification of the work stoppage is received by the Federal Employment Agency.

Required documents

Notification of work stoppage (form)

  • Attachment, if applicable, company agreement with works council on short-time work
  • Attachment, if applicable, statement by works council
  • Enclosure, if applicable, copy of parts of collective agreement relevant to short-time work

Application for short-time allowance (form)

  • Settlement list for short-time allowance - attachment to application for benefits (form)


In the event of extraordinary developments on the labor market (such as those resulting from the spread of the coronavirus), the federal government or the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs may temporarily adjust the regulations on short-time allowance by decree.

Release note

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32