The Covid-19 crisis: tips for employers in Germany as of mid-March

1. Take immediate measures to protect all staff and business partners 

  • Close offices and enforce home office where feasible; otherwise clean well and reduce infection risks
  • Prohibit all travel and physical meetings, amending the travel policy
  • Monitor recommendations by public authorities and inform employees accordingly
  • Take immediate action if there is an actual or suspected Corona-case 

2. Explore options for flexible working – employee cooperation is generally needed

  • Reduce all overtime surpluses
  • Introduce sustainable home office arrangements
  • Encourage employees to take (paid) holidays or sabbaticals 
  • Extend parental leave
  • Agree new terms of employment, e.g. part-time, flexitime

3. Seek reimbursement for paid remuneration to employees in official quarantine

4. Consider implementing “short-time work” and applying for “short-time compensation”

  • See here our recent publication

5. Consider further measures to reduce personnel costs

  • checking bonus schemes for options to reduce variable pay
  • agreeing pay cuts
  • terminating freelancers, explore agency work structures
  • dismissing employees in their probationary periods (first six months)
  • consider redundancies

6. Engage with and seek cooperation from staff and employee representative bodies and business partners

7. Use technology, communicate well and regularly; encourage communication within teams e.g. cyber cafe.

8. Remain upbeat, positive but sincere.