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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-2020-38/1448 Updated – measures in Germany

German Railways (DB) collective agreement 'Corona package'

Deutsche Bahn TV "Corona-Paket"

Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 September 2020 – 28 February 2023
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Birgit Kraemer (Hans Boeckler Foundation) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 November 2020 (updated 08 November 2023)

Background information

German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) and the sectoral trade union EVG (Eisenbahn- und Verkehrsgewerkschaft) reached a new collective agreement in September 2020, which is valid from March 2021 until the end of February 2023. EVG represents staff in German Rail administration, engine drivers and staff on trains. A second sectoral trade union for German railway, GDL (Gewerkschaft Deutscher Lokomotivführer), rejected the agreement and proposed a separate agreement for engine drivers und staff on trains.

Content of measure

The agreement includes a so called corona package in preparation of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with renewed lockdowns and social distancing measures. This corona package concerns employees with dependent children or otherwise caring for family members, including parents. Employees may stay away from work for up to fifty days due to childcare duties, and for up to 20 days due to other care duties. Other parts of the agreement concern wages (pay rise of 1.5% from January 2022), job protection (no forced redundancies for the time of the agreement), and recruitment (at least 18,000 new recruitments each in 2021 and 2022, including over 4,000 apprentices each year).


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

28 August 2023

A new collective agreement was concluded as of 28 August 2023.

28 February 2023

The collective bargaining agreement to address the Corona crisis expired on 28 February 2023.

Use of measure

No data.


  • Income protection
  • Leave arrangements
  • Pay freezes or cuts
  • Work organisation

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
No special funding required

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


(1) The institutional setting for the German railway sector requests the involvement of employer and employee representatives. (2) The large sectoral employer Detusche Bahn was involved. The sectoral trade union EVG was involved. The sectoral trade union GDL was not involved. (3) Employees contribute by renouncing a pay rise until the year 2021. Employers contribute by refraining from forced redundancies for the duration of the CBA.

Views and reactions

The employer, Deutsche Bahn, and the trade union EVG welcome the agreement as an example of joint responsibility for the cost of the Covid-19 crisis. A second sectoral trade union for German railway, GDL (Gewerkschaft Deutscher Lokomotivführer), rejected the agreement and proposed a separate agreement for engine drivers und staff on trains

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), German Railways (DB) collective agreement 'Corona package', measure DE-2020-38/1448 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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