European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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-2020-23/1113 – measures in Germany

Employers organisations FAQs on COVID-19

FAQs der Arbeitgeberverbände zu COVID-19

Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 31 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Other
Author Sandra Vogel (IW)
Measure added 14 September 2020 (updated 21 January 2022)

Background information

Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employer and business organisations compiled information leaflets, guidelines and FAQs to help their members to keep up with the amount of new information released during the first half of 2020 (e.g. regards newly available help measures) and make them aware of what is available regards company support, but also what needs to be observed by companies in a time of a pandemic.

Content of measure

The Confederation of German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) published FAQs - especially designed for crafts businesses. While the information is put together for the needs of the crafts sector, information might also be interesting for companies from other sectors. It is available online (for free). The ZDH's FAQ site gives advice on topics, such as public and financial support measures, legal amendments to existing short-time working rules, social security issues and tax deductions or deferrals for self-employed persons and occupational health and safety issues. In addition, the ZDH published FAQs on how to deal with vocational training and trainees' examinations that usually conclude the training but might now be deferred to COVID-19.

The Confederation of German Employer Organisations (BDA) published FAQs on current short-time working rules. Short-time working rules were eased right at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to help companies stay afloat during a time of low demand. Read more on the [ COVID-19 Database . The BDA's guideline provides an overview on companies' rights and obligations when sending their workers on short-time work. In addition, the BDA published guidelines on legal labour issues that might occur during a pandemic. They provide an overview on companies' rights and obligations during a pandemic - especially in the field of employment and labour relations. Topics covered by the guideline are:

  • legal definition on infection and suspecting an infection plus information and notification obligations
  • information on infection protection law information and on Federal Government's social protection package
  • rules for home-office and short-time working arrangements
  • information on the COVID-19 app employees returning from holidays.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Employers' organisations
Employers organisation

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The FAQs and guidelines are designed and implemented by the employer organisations themselves. Providing this kind of material is part of the organisations' member services. This information is meant to help members to navigate and observe the legal obligations during a pandemic and help business to stay afloat during a time of crisis.

Views and reactions

Not applicable.


  • 01 April 2020: COVID-19 pandemic and consequences for examinations in the crafts sector (Corona-Pandemie und die Folgen für das Prüfungswesen im Handwerk) (
  • 14 September 2020: Legal consequences of a pandemic (
  • 14 September 2020: ZDH: Corona FAQ for crafts businesses (Corona: FAQ für Handwerksbetriebe) (
  • 23 December 2022: FAQ - Short-time work (FAQ - Kurzarbeit) (


Eurofound (2020), Employers organisations FAQs on COVID-19, measure DE-2020-23/1113 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.


5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


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