Austria - The more companies use the short-time working model, the better (ÖGB)

Corona short-time work provides not only financial protection for employees but also employers.

There is currently no reason for companies to dismiss employees. Nevertheless, there are entrepreneurs who send their employees into unemployment and thus not only harm workers, but also society as a whole. Alexander Prischl, ÖGB labor market expert, describes in an interview what is important in time of the Corona crisis.

The Corona short-time work model could counteract this crisis sensibly and send a positive signal. How will the current corona crisis affect the job market?
Alexander Prischl: One can’t really estimate that yet. We must wait and see what the future might bring. We also need more data and must continue to monitor the situation closely. But according to the latest reports, many people in selected sectors such as the hospitality or tourism industry are currently losing their jobs. The Corona model of short-time work could counteract this sensibly and send a positive signal: The more companies that use the Corona short-time working model, the better it is for society.

What exactly could the short-time working model do?
The economy as a whole, but also every single entrepreneur, has a socio-political responsibility in these times. With the new short-time working model, a tool has been created in a very short time that will help companies to keep their employees and not to dismiss them. This is very important. After coping with the health crisis, it is imperative to prevent an extraordinary economic crisis. After Corona, the companies will need their specialists again, but they might not be available if they have been simply dismissed and have found work in a shorter time elsewhere.

Do you know whether a short-time working model has already been implemented in other countries?
In other countries there are numerous emergency measures, all of which have the same goal. In the economic crisis of 2009, the Austrian model of short-time work proved to be a decisive contribution to the economy and showed that Austria could pull through a major crisis like this quite unscathed. We hope so to do the same with this new model.