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Temporary reduction in working hours in the metal industry; what's up with that?

Update 18-03-2020: The Temporary Reduction of Working Hours has been replaced by a new temporary measure. Read more here

Due to the corona virus, you are currently also hearing news about companies that are seeing production decline and are therefore requesting a temporary reduction in working hours to absorb the (first) blows. This can also occur in the metal. But what is this temporary reduction in working hours and what can it mean for you?

Extraordinary situations

In special situations, an employer can request a reduction in working hours if it can be demonstrated that this situation temporarily reduces their work time. The corona virus can be a special situation. Your company must then have at least 2% demonstrably less work for at least 20 weeks. A period of shorter working hours can last a maximum of 6 weeks, after which an extension can be requested 3 more times. Your employer must then prove again and again that the special situation continues.

unemployment benefits

If your employer meets the conditions and you meet the conditions for unemployment benefit, you will receive a benefit for this reduction in working hours for the hours that you do not have to work. This benefit is just as high as the unemployment benefit you would receive.

Pay attention! A benefit in the context of the temporary reduction in working hours may have consequences for your unemployment benefit entitlements if your employer unexpectedly has to reorganize. If the latter is the case, please contact De Unie.

Collective labor agreements in the metal

The various collective labor agreements in the metal sector may contain additional rules in the event of a reduction in working hours:

  • Metalektro (large metal):
    Article 3.9.3: CLA advise parties to consult between the employer in the event of a temporary reduction in working hours, vakbondand a works council prior to the introduction of a temporary reduction in working hours.
    Article 3.9.4: If you are entitled to unemployment benefit due to the temporary reduction in working hours, the employer must supplement this up to your salary. If you are not entitled to unemployment benefit, the employer will continue to pay your salary.
  • Metal & Engineering (small metal)
    Article 64 paragraph 3: If you are entitled to unemployment benefits, the employer will add this to your salary.
  • Motor vehicles and Two-wheelers
    Article 89: If you are entitled to unemployment benefit, the employer must supplement this benefit to the normal salary.

If your employer in the metal industry is considering applying for a temporary reduction in working hours, please contact De Unie via 0345-851 963 or by mail via sc@unie.nl.

More information on this topic can be found at this page from the National Government.

More information about the corona virus can be found via this blog.