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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Temporary and collective reduction of working time

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
This measure was introduced as an anti-crisis measure in the light of the 2009 crisis. In contrast to the existing collective reduction of working hours for indefinite duration, this crisis measure was only temporary and provides a social security contribution reduction in the case of a temporary and collective reduction of working time by 1/5 or 1/4 through a collective labour agreement (CLA). The aim is to avoid as many lay-offs as possible during the crisis period. / / The reduction can apply to all employees (blue-collar and white-collar) or to a specific category of employees in the company. The target group reduction is respectively 600/quarter per employee for a 1/5 reduction and 750/quarter per employee for a 1/4 reduction. When accompanied by the introduction of a four-day week, the reduction is increased with 400 EUR/ quarter. / / If the reduced working hours are linked to a loss of pay, then the employee is entitled to wage compensation. At least 3/4 of the amounts should be used to make up for lost wages. However, the wage and compensation must remain below the employee?s last full time wage. /
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Temporary anti-crisis measure: from 1 July 2009, and extended until 31 January 2011
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
Temporary anti-crisis measure to limit job losses by adjusting the volume of labour and being able to respond more quickly to temporary work shortages.
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • encompassing security
  • others (contra-dualisation)
Type of innovation
  • new form of policy-making
New outputs
  • working time (1/5 or 1/4 reduction in working time)
Intended target group
Full-time blue and white collar workers
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state (National Social Security Office (RSZ))
  • employers (organised or individual)
Intended output
  • working time
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
the measure aims to adjust labour supply to effective labour demand
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