After the SPÖ initiative: renewed debate about shorter working hours

In addition to the government’s comeback package, the SPÖ is also calling for stronger labor market policy measures to combat the corona crisis.

It was only last Friday that the federal government presented how the so-called corona comeback package should continue. 24 billion (of the planned 50 billion) have already been legally guaranteed, including about 2.5 billion for short-time work, 6.5 billion in tax deferrals, 5 billion for guarantees and liabilities, and one billion that goes to the community Finance Minister Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) explains. An economic strengthening law is currently still under review, which also provides for the reduction of wage and income tax from 25 to 20 percent.

But the SPÖ also calls for stronger labor market policy measures to combat the corona crisis. “108 days after the corona shutdown, the government did not take a single measure for unemployed people who were not at fault,” the SPÖ club said. The Social Democrats’ proposal: a state-sponsored 4-day week.

This is to counteract the corona-related slump in demand, as a result of a concept by the SPÖ. According to the SPÖ, the costs of permanently reducing working hours by 20 percent should be shared between the AMS, the company and the employee in the first three years.

Employees who opted for the model would receive 94.9 percent of their original net salary if their working hours were reduced to 80 percent. According to the SPÖ women’s chairwoman Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, this would also have “many positive effects” for equality between men and women.

The industrialists’ association sees it quite differently: “The ideas that have been expressed once again to reduce working hours do not get any better under the pretext of coping with the crisis, on the contrary: what is proposed here ultimately boils down to everyone losing,” Georg Knill shares , President of the Federation of Industrialists, in a broadcast with. Knill fears that workers would lose part of their wages and salaries, that companies would face a further increase in the cost of labor – and therefore an additional burden – and that the location would lose international competitiveness.

What you have to talk about, of course, is an extension of short-time work if the overall economic situation makes it necessary.


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