“If necessary” – Kocher: Short-time working remains the method of choice

In order to keep the consequences of the corona pandemic and the lockdown for unvaccinated people as low as possible, all precautions have been taken, according to Labor Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP). “Short-time work is still the method of choice to take possible cushioning on the labor market, if that is necessary,” said Kocher on Monday at a meeting with the social partners. They showed their displeasure that new measures were repeatedly imposed with little lead time.

On Monday, Kocher gave the go-ahead for consultations with the social partners on the “new unemployment insurance”. Today’s conversation is about “exploring similarities and differences,” said Kocher. The aim is to present a balanced overall package at the beginning of next year in order to get more people into employment more quickly and to secure income better. One wants to discuss “without blinkers”, further talks are planned at different levels. “We can be quite reassured on the labor market as far as the instruments are concerned,” said Kocher in view of the development of the Covid pandemic. “Short-time work will run until next summer, while short-time work for the Corona period will run until the end of the year. We will look carefully to see whether there is a need for an adjustment in terms of the duration. We’ll have to wait for the next few days, ”said the minister. “The appeal now is, of course, not to lay off employees.” Mahrer: Do not always pull new “rabbits out of your hat” Talking to the social partners when reforming unemployment insurance is a good tradition, said Chamber of Commerce President Harald Mahrer. A bad example is the Corona crisis, where the social partners are not spoken to. Particularly affected sectors must be supported, as in the past, it is crucial that work can continue. “I am deeply surprised that there is now a kind of race to invent new measures before it has even been evaluated how the first ones work,” criticized Mahrer. “You sit down with the state governors, the government announces something, and a few hours later new rabbits are pulled out of the hat. That unsettles everyone. “Katzian goes” the whole swearing on the hammer “More predictability and plannability would also be in the interests of the employees, said ÖGB President Wolfgang Katzian. “The whole swearing-in is already on the hammer, to be honest.” If it comes to new measures, one has to examine how these affect certain groups of workers and how one can help. “One instrument is short-time work, nobody has to lose their job.” As far as the reform of unemployment benefits is concerned, he is in principle ready for any measure at social partner level, but one does not want to be just an “escort service”, but really want to be involved, emphasized Katzian. For AK President Renate Anderl, the focus is on targeted communication. “It’s also about job seekers having better advice,” she calls for more staff in the AMS. In addition, there must be a legal entitlement to qualifications. The General Secretary of the Federation of Industrialists, Christoph Neumayer, pointed out that the production sector had so far been the main driver of the upswing, but currently more than 20,000 employees are wanted in production, “a lot more would be possible ”.


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