Short-time work and its effects on holiday claims

Wednesday, 24.06.2020

As government restrictions due to the Corona pandemic are gradually being lifted, many companies have been able to return from short-time work to their regular business – and many employees are looking forward to a summer holiday.

But how are holiday claims affected by a period of short-time work?

UrlaubsansprücheHoliday claims during short-time work are treated in the same way a transition from a full-time job to a part-time job would be treated – and a transition back to full-time after the end of the KUG period. A case from Germany has been decided accordingly by the European Court of Justice in 2012.

This means, if an employee has been on “Kurzarbeit” for 2 months, the holiday for these two months would be reduced, proportionally to the reduction of work.

The holiday entitlement for the remaining 10 months is calculated, separately.

Holiday claims after short-time work for part-time employees

For part-time employees, the number of days of annual leave is based on the days on which they have worked, not the hours. So, if the hours have been reduced due to Kurzarbeit, but the number of days they have worked remains the same, the holiday entitlement does not change. However, if the number of days has been reduced, the holiday entitlement can be reduced accordingly. During “Kurzarbeit Null”, since no work would have been performed, no holiday entitlements would be acquired.

The number of annual leave days acquired during the Kurzarbeit is determined by the amount of work that has actually been performed during the short-time-work period, for each individual employee.

Holiday claims after short-time work for full-time employees

The same principle applies for full-time workers. Their holiday entitlement is calculated as if they were part-time employees for the duration of the Kurzarbeit. So here, too, the holiday entitlement is based on the days of work.

This applies, even if the KUG was calculated on an hourly basis:  The holiday entitlement still depends on the number of days on which the employees have worked. Again, if only the daily hours have been reduced due to Kurzarbeit, this does not affect the holiday entitlement. However, if the days have been reduced, the holiday entitlement is reduced accordingly.

Is the holiday pay affected by the KUG, too?

The holiday pay, on the other hand, is determined by the remuneration that the employee has received during the last 13 weeks prior to the beginning of the holiday. This is not affected by the KUG (§ 11 Section 1 (3) BUrlG), so the calculation would be based on the average remuneration that would have been achieved without the KUG.