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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-2020-14/1517 – measures in Germany

Short-time work at Steigenberger Hotel Frankfurt

Kurzarbeit bei Steigenberger Hotel Frankfurt

Country Germany , applies locally

    • – DE712 Frankfurt am Main, Kreisfreie Stadt
Time period Open ended, started on 01 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Measure added 01 December 2020 (updated 07 March 2021)

Background information

Germany's political measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have hit the countries hotel sector hard. International travel restrictions - followed by national travel restrictions and then a nation-wide accommodation ban - dramatically reduced the number of guests in hotels. The works council and management at Steigenberger Hotel Frankfurt Airport were looking for feasible local arrangements to cushion the effect of the public health measures on employment and wages.

Content of measure

The local works council and management agreed to distribute short-term work equally across employees. Management also agreed to ensure that no employee would face more than a 20% reduction in their salary. Given existing low wage levels in the sector, and sky-rocketing sectoral unemployment during the pandemic, these measures were aimed at preventing social hard ship. The local practice prevented forced lay-offs and ensured that all employees received at least 80% of their pre-pandemic salaries. Negotiating the agreement was particularly difficult given that normal works council meetings were not allowed under social distancing rules.

Use of measure

A Steigenberger hotel works council member stated in an interview in August that the measures would most probably not prevent forced redundancies in case of a second lock-down. Germany entered into a second lock-down in November.


  • Pay freezes or cuts
  • 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
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 Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


  1. The local works council and management reached an agreement.
  2. External organisations from the employer or workers' side were not involved.
  3. No contribution from social partners outside of the workplace concern.

Views and reactions

No information.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Short-time work at Steigenberger Hotel Frankfurt, measure DE-2020-14/1517 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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