In this time of lockdown, the question has arisen as to how to reduce employees’ hours and pay them less. I’m jjust going to touch on the terminology here – anyone who wants to know more can do a websearch nowadays!
There has been some comment in the UK press about the German system of Kurzarbeit (short-time work). From the Financial Times:
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The tool is Kurzarbeit, or shorter work-time, a policy that has been copied by so many other countries that one economist called it one of Germany’s “most successful exports”. Under the scheme, companies hit by a downturn can send their workers home, or radically reduce their hours, and the state will replace a large part of their lost income.
The UK has now introduced a similar scheme. It allows works to be furloughed but kept on the payroll. I knew furlough only as leave for soldiers, but apparently it is used in the USA in this sense. Furlough is like garden leave, where an employee’s contract is terminated to a certain date and he or she continues to be on the payroll but may not work. It’s referred to as the coronavirus job retention scheme. A lot of law firm websites explain it, for instance Crossland Employment Solicitors.
A number of other countries use similar schemes, but I think Germany was the first. The FT thinks it works very well in a country like Germany which invests a lot in apprenticeships, so having trained their workers, they will not want to lose them. The German scheme was ramped up at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
In the USA, works who are furloughed are not likely to be paid 60% of their wages as in Germany, but they may retain health insurance and other benefits.
Some more vocabulary I have picked up recently from German daily coronavirus podcasts: der Impfling for the person being vaccinated, verimpfen to inject a substance.
A tweet from Scott Hanson @papascott:
The line grew to 5 people behind us, 2 of whom left when they learned there was no asparagus. 😂
Elsewhere I note that it took the virus crisis to make Germans give up cash.