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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-2020-23/1113 – 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
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Other
Author Sandra Vogel (IW)
Case created 14 September 2020 (updated 12 May 2021)

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. Whilst 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.


  • 14 September 2020: Legal consequences of a pandemic (
  • 14 September 2020: ZDH: Corona FAQ for crafts businesses (Corona: FAQ für Handwerksbetriebe) (
  • 14 September 2020: COVID-19 pandemic and consequences for examinations in the crafts sector (Corona-Pandemie und die Folgen für das Prüfungswesen im Handwerk) (
  • 06 January 2021: FAQ - Short-time work (FAQ - Kurzarbeit) (


Eurofound (2020), Employers organisations FAQs on COVID-19, case DE-2020-23/1113 (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.