During the last economic crisis in 2009, Germany was already respected worldwide for its crisis management and its approach to short-time work benefits (“Kurzarbeit”) specifically. The co-determination regulations on Kurzarbeit significantly helped Germany overcome the emergency like no other country, and it laid essential foundations for post-crisis economic growth.
Short-time work was a vital factor in Germany’s ability to weather the 2009 economic crisis and gather crucial resources to bounce back. Because of this positive experience, the German government has not hesitated to turn to Kurzarbeit during the COVID-19 pandemic to relieve small and medium-sized enterprises that continue to face financial hardship. To this end, the federal government has lowered formal hurdles to the introduction of short-time work and expanded its room to maneuver.