Short-time work prevents mass layoffs during an economic downturn when workers have less to do. When they do go to work, they get paid as usual. For the days they don't work, they get an allowance from the state. This helps the economy tick over.
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The German government has calculated it will cost €1.3 trillion to pay for the coronavirus pandemic. One senior politician is worried that the poorest will end up footing the bill.
Nonessential firms have been ordered to close as part of Germany's coronavirus lockdown measures. It means employers have tapped a state scheme to slash working hours and avoid layoffs.
The number of people out of work grew at a slower pace in June as Germany gradually recovers from the coronavirus blow. The latest figures allay fears of mass layoffs, but it may be too soon to rejoice.
Germany's finance minister says the EU can emerge "stronger" from the pandemic if member states keep working together. He also voiced confidence the economy could rebound to pre-crisis levels by 2022.
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