How Germany Works: KURZARBEIT – Furlough Program

Kurzarbeit (literal translation: ‘short work’) is Germany’s furlough program.

May 2021

The furlough program sees the German government take over a large proportion of the salaries of employees whose services are temporarily not needed in times of economic or health emergencies. The idea is to save jobs and preserve workforces so that companies can hit the ground running when the period of disruption is over. More than half of all large German companies say it has helped them during the Covid-19 pandemic.

EUR 10bn

Estimated additional fiscal burden from the German government extending the Kurzarbeit program for employees from 12 to 24 months.