At the beginning of the lockdown, the cantonal offices for economics and labor were literally flooded with applications for short-time work. To date, almost 11,000 companies in the canton of Aargau have received a corresponding application. In the years before Corona, the authorities processed between 80 and 90 applications a year.
They were only able to cope with the flood of applications, which had risen rapidly as a result of the lockdown, thanks to a simplified procedure initiated by the federal government, a massive increase in staff from 60 to over 500 percent of the workforce and the development of software that processes around 70 percent of the applications. But now the Federal Council wants the normal, more complex procedures to come into play again from September. Andrea Engeler, head of the Zurich Office for Economy and Labor, estimates in the NZZ that this triples the workload for the authorities.
Short-time work applications expire
At the same time, most of the approved short-time working applications expire at the end of August. How many will be renewed or added is unclear. “If there are very many and the employment offices cannot build up the necessary human resources, or only with a delay, there will be delays in registration or payment. There are therefore fears that this could lead to layoffs or even bankruptcies, ”says Giovanni Pelloni, deputy head of the AWA in the canton of Aargau.
That is why government councilor Urs Hofmann turned to the Conference of Economics Directors (VDK) last week and asked the Federal Council to intervene. He welcomes the intention of the Federal Council to return to normality, i.e. to examine the applications in more depth again. But the times are extraordinary and have not yet allowed this step. Hofmann: “According to the current state of knowledge, a massive delay in processing at the enforcement agencies can only be prevented if the summary procedure is left for the time being, especially for the accounts.”
Letter to Minister of Economic Affairs Parmelin
So you want to do without an in-depth examination for the time being. “Until a meaningful transition concept is available or the numbers have fallen so far that the normal regime can be implemented with reasonable effort,” as Hofmann writes in his application to the VDK. He calls on the VDK to make representations to the Federal Council accordingly. Just like Carmen Walker Späh has already done according to the NZZ. In a letter to Economy Minister Guy Parmelin.
The federal government is still covered. The consultation on the Covid19 law has been completed. Numerous comments have been received. From associations, social partners and cantons. But only Zurich and Basel-Land would have pointed out possible problems with the processing of short-time work applications.