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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-2020-13/715 Updated – measures in Germany

Collective agreement on short-time working in system catering


Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 March 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
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
Measure added 17 April 2020 (updated 12 August 2021)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

For halting the spread of the COVID-19 virus, government locked down restaurants and hotels, only delivery and pick up services are allowed. The measure has an enormous impact on the employment situation of the sectoral workers.

The food, restaurant and hotel workers union NGG, an affiliate of trade union confederation DGB, negotiated with two employer organisations to address the situation - with very different results. The federal association of hotel and restaurant employers DEHOGA has rejected to negotiate an agreement on short-time work at all whereas the federal association of system caterers BdS was willing to conclude a Corona protection agreement with some favourable conditions. The new agreement came on top of a sectoral arrangement concluded by the union NGG and the employers' organisation BdS (covering 120,000 workers), agreed in early March which stipulates a wage rise up to €12 per hour until 2021.

Content of measure

The NGG-BdS Corona protection agreement aims at avoiding direct dismissals and at supporting businesses (often franchises) by settling that in case of need:

  • the employers shall apply for short time working with the federal employment agency;
  • that they shall raise the standard short time working allowance paid by the federal employment agency (60% of net monthly wage for workers without children, 67% for workers with children) to up to 90% of the net monthly wage; and
  • that workers shall be covered by dismissal protection until two months after the end of the short-time working period.

The agreement covers about 120,000 workers represented by the affiliates of BdS, a.o. McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 November 2020

In November 2020 the collective agreement was extended until December 2021.

Use of measure

No data.


  • Employment retention
  • Income protection

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


Negotiated agreement.

Views and reactions

Agreed by NGG and BdS.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I56 Food and beverage service activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Food preparation assistants



Eurofound (2020), Collective agreement on short-time working in system catering, measure DE-2020-13/715 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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