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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DE-2020-10/1580 – measures in Germany

Secure pay and safe working conditions at Krones

Einkommenssicherung und sichere Arbeitsbedingungen bei Krones

Country Germany , applies eu-wide (or beyond)
Time period Open ended, started on 01 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes of working hours or work arrangements
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Measure added 09 December 2020 (updated 28 January 2021)

Background information

The Bavarian company Krones produces and installs bottle-filling machines with costumers at home and abroad, for example with Miller breweries in Wisconsin, USA. With lockdown coming into force in Europe and abroad, viable solutions were needed to protect workers' income and health and to ensure continuity of production during the pandemic. The agreement reached between management and the works council in Bavaria includes an employer top-up of short-term work payments, new working arrangements, and additional health and safety measures.

Content of measure

The employer uses the government-funded short-time work scheme, topping up short-term work payments to 80% of former salary levels. To enable social distancing, employees in Germany now work in fixed shifts, for which they receive an additional compensatory payment. The around 700 employees on construction jobs abroad receive additional health check-ups and health training in Germany before their departure and abroad before their return to Germany. The check-up includes COVID-19 testing and the handing over of protective equipment (gloves, masks, desinfectants). To enable social distancing, the employer pays for individual accomodation abroad, for example in Airbnb. To limit travel activities and changes of location, engineers abroad can visit home after twelve weeks, when before they could do so after six weeks. Employees receive a compensatory payment for this reduction in their travel opportunities.

Use of measure

Production at Krones continues despite lock-down measures in Europe and abroad. The changes in working arrangements and payment have contributed to securing jobs, maintaining pay levels, and keeping employees safe.

Contents

  • Bonuses
  • Health and safety
  • Income protection
  • Working time flexibility

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Employees
Employer
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

  1. This is a company-level initiative. Company management reached an agreement on working arrangements and pay together with the company works council, which represents all employees. Works council members are members of the sectoral labour union IG Metall.
  2. Social partners outside the company were not directly involved.
  3. The employer, the state and employees jointly bear the cost of the measures agreed.

Views and reactions

The works council confirms that the changes in working arrangements and payment have contributed to securing jobs, maintaining pay levels, and keeping employees safe.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Secure pay and safe working conditions at Krones, measure DE-2020-10/1580 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2020-10_1580.html

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