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-2020-13/403 – Updated – measures in Germany
|Country||Germany , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 23 March 2020 – 30 April 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Rescue procedures in case of insolvency or adaptation of insolvency regulation
|Author||Sandra Vogel (IW) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||09 April 2020 (updated 31 May 2022)|
The Federal Government modified the insolvency law, in order to help business (faced with bankruptcy due to losses incurred by the COVID-19 crisis to stay in the market. This measure is part of the support package to stabilise the German economy and help out firms during the outbreak and its economic consequences. This measure is part of the support package to stabilise the German economy and help out firms during the COVID-19 crisis. The package was adopted by the Federal Government at the end of March 2020 and also includes other measures (such as lowering tax burdens, easing rules for short-time work, facilitating better access to loans, start-up support, income support for solo entrepreneurs).
According to this measure, business threatened by insolvency do not need to file for bankruptcy until 30 September 2020. This measure is open for all kinds of businesses (regardless of their size). Should it be necessary, this temporary measure can be prolonged until 31 March 2021 by means of a decree of the Federal Government. This measure is part of a broader package that also includes changes in tax law, all of them directed at easing tax burdens for companies in times of crisis; and also includes easier access to loans, start-up support or financial help for solo- or micro entrepreneurs, eased up rules for short-time work.
On 18 December 2020, the Federal Statistical Office reported that 12,491 companies filed for insolvency between January and September 2020. Their share dropped by 13.1% in comparison to the same period in the previous year. The Federal Statistical Office explained the decline in numbers with the new rules on postponing insolvency procedures.
As reported by the Federal Statistical Office on 10 September 2021, 7,408 companies filed for insolvency in the first half of 2021. This is 17.7% less than in the previous year. However, expected claims by creditors from applied insolvencies are estimated at €31.8 billion for the first half of 2021, which is almost double compared to the same timeframe of the previous year (€16.7 billion). This rise is contributed to the fact, that more economic important companies filed for insolvency in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Furthermore the low number in insolvency proceedings is related to federal aid programmes and the restart of the regular obligation to file for insolvency in May 2021.
|Does not apply to workers||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Local / regional government
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
German social partners are usually consulted by the Federal Government on broader measures, though no formal tripartite social dialogue structure exists in Germany at the federal level.
The Confederation of German Employers' Association (BDA) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) jointly welcomed the crisis package adopted by the Federal Government in spring 2020.
Eurofound (2020), Postponing insolvency procedures, measure DE-2020-13/403 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DE-2020-13_403.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.