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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case DE-2020-13/649 – measures in Germany

Audiovisual sector: First collective agreement on short-time working


Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 25 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g. short-time work)
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Case created 15 April 2020 (updated 05 May 2020)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

On 19 March, the main employer organisation of the audiovisual sector together with sectoral business organisations and business organisations of advertisement companies published a statement saying that due to the upcoming COVID-19 lockdown and to travel restrictions the advertisement sector faces the strongest crisis ever and that due to this the production of commercial movies and TV-productions will come under strong strain. The authors, nevertheless, agree to the lockdowns; they recommend to postpone commercial movie and TV productions and to show strong solidarity within the sector for safeguarding the sectoral supply chains and networks.One week later, the main private employer organisation, the Produzentenallianz (producers' alliance), reached an ageement with the United Services Union, ver.di, and the occupational trade union of actors, BFFS, which for the first time stipulates that the employers shall apply short time working.

Content of measure

On 24 March 2020 the Produzentenallianz (producers' alliance), ver.di and BFFS reached an agreement that for the first time regulates the use of short time working in the movie and TV film production business. It is an addition to the existing framework collective agreement and specifies the use of short time work in case of disruptions or stoppages of movie productions. In light of the upcoming chellenges, it was reached in great hurry and approved by the organisations the same evening; it came into force the next day, on 25 March. The agreement lasts until 31 December but can be cancelled by either side by 30 June 2020 (two weeks announcement period).

It is a supplement to the framework collective agreement already in place and specifies the use of short time work in case of disruptions and stoppages of movie production:

  • Actors employed on fixed term contract for the duration of the movie production shall in these cases not be dismissed but be employed on short time work and contiue be work after the end of the short time work period.

  • On top of the standard short time work allowance (60% of net monthly income for workers without children, 67% for those with children) employers shall pay an extra for reaching up to 90% of the wage level of the collective wage agreement for actors or up to 100% of the agreed wage level of mangerial staff the minimum (the agreed wage is expected to be lower than the actual wage) or up to the income treshold for social security contribution assessments the maximum. The federal employment agency will pay the social security contributions.

Use of measure

The main broadcasting stations immediately signed the agreement and said they will apply it. The agreement does not have to be applied by companies which are not members of the Produzentenallianz (producers' alliance).


  • Employment retention
  • Income protection
  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Particular professions
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
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 Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level



Views and reactions

Agreed by tjhe Produzentenallianz and tre trade unions Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) and the Bundesverband Film- und Fernsehschauspieler (BFFS) in cooperation. Members have to apply the agreement; other employers may choose to do so.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Legal, social and cultural professionals


  • 26 March 2020: Kurzarbeit.Tarifvertrag


Eurofound (2020), Audiovisual sector: First collective agreement on short-time working, case DE-2020-13/649 (measures in Germany), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.