The German business community is calling for the urgent introduction of the flexible work system, Kurzarbeit

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Bogdan Tudorache

The introduction of the flexible work system, Kurzarbeit, is absolutely necessary for Romania, especially in view of the fact that the period for granting the technical unemployment benefit borne by the state is coming to an end. In addition, a third questionnaire, regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business environment, conducted by AHK Romania between April 22 and 24, 2020, clearly shows that the voices within the Romanian-German business community requesting a relaxation of restrictions for the economy have multiplied.

“The Romanian economy is with its back to the wall and needs air to be able to breathe – it needs at least a clear perspective, to regain confidence and hope and to be able to start preparations for restarting the business. The atmosphere is stifling,” says Sebastian Metz, general manager of AHK Romania.

The pressure on companies is huge and leaves deep marks. Most respondents expect a decrease in turnover of up to 30%, and 19% even a decrease of over 40%. The activities of the companies were reduced by up to 40% in many cases, and 13% reduced the activities by 80-100%. The manufacturing industry has considerably reduced its production capacity: 31% of enterprises have completely closed production, 52% partially. Restarting the economy must now be, in addition to measures to combat the spread of the virus, priority no. 1 of the Government.

The third questionnaire conducted by AHK also shows that most companies are aware of the Government’s economic support measures, but many consider them insufficient and difficult to implement (40%). This discrepancy between the measures made available and their actual use by companies brings with it the desire of the business community for the Government to initiate other packages of measures and find a way to use them more efficiently. The most relevant measures are the granting of a 75% unemployment benefit and the extension of payment terms.

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