Incomparable to the financial crisis. Incomparable to the previous month anyway: Boris Zürcher (56) from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) presented a preliminary assessment of the short-time work requests on the month. In March, 21,000 companies applied for short-time work for 315,000 workers. “That is about 6.1 percent of the workforce in Switzerland,” said Zürcher. In February it was 0.2 percent, during the financial crisis the top 5,000 companies and 92,000 employees were reached.
The federal government wants to avoid layoffs with short-time work. If a company has to temporarily reduce operations or stop operations altogether, the state temporarily jumps into the gap and pays 80 percent of the lost wages. The most requests – for more than one in four employees – were made in the Canton of Ticino. “However, there should also have been preventive registrations,” says Zürcher. March wages should be paid this week.
The hotel and hospitality industries are particularly affected. “An application is registered there for 26 percent of the employees.” Companies in the fields of culture, transport and trade are affected above average. Zürcher emphasizes that the number of necessary forms has been “drastically” reduced.
Worry about suppliers
Politicians are also feeling the crisis. Not only that their session was canceled, many companies also turn directly to the representatives of the people with their questions, as SVP National Councilor Diana Gutjahr (36) says. «We have a lot of unanswered questions, particularly those that affect the economic aspect. We have to find solutions there to secure jobs and apprenticeships, ”says the Thurgau woman, who runs a company herself.
Her order books are full – but she is worried about her suppliers: “I don’t want to treat this disparagingly: but in a cosmetics company or a hairdressing salon it is a closed area. Whole chains are affected in industry! »
SP National Councilor Celine Widmer (42) emphasizes the importance of quickly resuming political work. “The federal measures, economic aid, that was an important step.” Now it must be a matter of ensuring that all those affected continue to receive their wages. «We just have to look at small and medium-sized businesses. So that they can keep the workers busy. They mustn’t go bankrupt. »
Meanwhile, the financial delegation of the federal councils (FinDel) is meeting again. It had to advise on the Federal Council’s 30 billion loan and is giving the green light for it. The loan is intended to cushion the negative effects of the corona virus on the economy.
“We support the measures of the Federal Council,” said CVP Council of States member Peter Hegglin (59), President of FinDel. The delegation recognized the urgency and effectiveness of the instruments envisaged. Therefore, all advances requested would be approved. The parliament is expected to approve the released loans subsequently in an extraordinary session.