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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-2020-13/715 – measures in Germany

Collective corona-protection agreement on short-time working in system catering


Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 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 17 April 2020 (updated 05 May 2020)
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 affilliate of trade union confederation DGB, negotiated with two employer organsiations 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 working 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 stipluates 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 employlemt agency (60% of net monthly wage for workers without childen, 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 affiliaites of BdS, a.o. McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks and Pizza Hut.

Use of measure

The companies make use of the short time allowance but we do not have 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



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


  • 17 March 2020: Corona-Schutz-Tarifvertrag
  • 20 March 2020: Personalpartnerschaft McDonalds-Aldi (


Eurofound (2020), Collective corona-protection agreement on short-time working in system catering, case DE-2020-13/715 (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.