- Overview of short-time work and short-time compensation for employers and employees.
While readers outside of Germany may not have heard of “short-time work” (Kurzarbeit), within Germany the use of this tried-and-tested tool is on the rise again. With the rapid spread of coronavirus now virtually paralyzing Germany, tens of thousands of employers are currently announcing they would switch employees to shorter work hours due to coronavirus outbreak in order to manage HR-costs and preserve jobs during the crisis. A large part of the employees’ lost income will be replaced by short-time work compensation (Kurzarbeitergeld) granted by the Federal Employment Agency if the workload is temporarily reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This month the Bundestag rushed through legislation to expand the scheme and ease access to short-time work compensation taking effect retroactively as of 1 March 2020.
What is short-time work?
Short-time work is a temporary reduction in the regular working hours due to a considerable but temporary shortage of work. The working hours can be reduced partially or completely (so-called “zero short-time work”). Thus, the employees are temporarily partially or completely released from their obligation to perform their duties under the employment agreement and their remuneration is reduced accordingly.
What is short-time work compensation?
Short-time work compensation is granted by the Federal Employment Agency and is intended to mitigate the disadvantages suffered by employees as a result of the reduction in remuneration. The short-time work compensation amounts to 60% of the net pay difference for employees without a child and for employees with at least one child to 67% of the net pay difference. As of 1 March 2020, the Federal Employment Agency will fully refund employers’ social security contributions.
How to introduce short-time work?
The employer cannot unilaterally order short-time work unless this has been agreed in advance. Short-time work may be introduced on the basis of a collective bargaining agreement, a works agreement or an agreement with the employee. If the employment contract does not provide for the employer’s right to unilaterally order short-time work, the employer must first agree the envisaged short-time work with the employees concerned individually.
What are the prerequisites and the procedure for short-time work compensation?
Taking into account the legislative measures of March 13, 2020, short-time work compensation in connection with a temporary reduction of workload due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be granted if the following prerequisites are met:
- Notification of short-time work to the local employment agency (first step). Employers should ensure to submit complete documents to prove that the prerequisites for short-time work are met.
- At least 10% (previously 30%, as of 1 March 2020 only 10%) of the employees of the company are affected by a loss of working hours of at least 10%.
- Positive working time accounts – if any - must be reduced to zero. As of 1 March 2020, employees are no longer required to build-up a negative balance in their working accounts.
- Eligible employees: Only employee whose employment relationship is not terminated and who are subject to payment of social security contributions. As of 1 March 2020, temporary agency workers are also entitled to short-time work compensation.
If the employment agency confirms that these prerequisites are met, the employer must - in a second step - apply for short-time work compensation within three months.
- The software start-up Nitrobox GmbH from Germany announced to have completed a financing round in the single-digit million euro range.
The financing round was led by "NeueCapital Partners" fund from Silicon Valley and Porsche Ventures, the venture capital unit of the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer. LUTZ | ABEL advised on the transaction.
The German software start-up Nitrobox GmbH closed a financing round in the single-digit million euro range. "NeueCapital Partners" fund from Silicon Valley and Porsche Ventures, the venture capital unit of the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer, took a stake in the company.
Nitrobox has developed a cloud platform which can be used in several sectors for automatic monetization and billing of digital business models. In the field of mobility, Nitrobox is already working with several car manufacturers, including Porsche. The start-up supports the order-to-cash process of new business models: services such as car sharing, functions-on-demand, digital parking tickets or charging services can be fully automated via the Nitrobox platform. The company intends to use the funds from the financing round primarily to further expand its market position in Germany and to prepare for its entry to the US market.
As in previous rounds, LUTZ | ABEL provided legal advice to Nitrobox. The team included the following attorneys: Dr. Lorenz Jellinghaus (Partner, Hamburg) Dr. Sebastian Sumalvico (VC, Munich) and Nina Sophie Osten (VC, Hamburg).
- AlphaPet Ventures GmbH secures equity financing led by capiton AG and acquires Healthfood24.
LUTZ | ABEL advises Munich based premium pet food company AlphaPet Ventures in both equity financing and acquisition.
The LUTZ | ABEL team led by Dr. Marco Eickmann and Philipp Hoene (both M&A/VC, Munich) included Dr. Sebastian Sumalvico (M&A/VC, Munich), Frank Hahn (M&A/VC, Hamburg), Dr. Marius Mann (Commercial, Stuttgart), Dr. André Schmidt (IP/IT, Hamburg), Claudia Knuth (Employment, Hamburg) and Sebastian Schreiber (Real Estate, Hamburg).
The transaction is subject to pending merger control approval.
- The healthcare start-up Temedica GmbH from Germany announced to have completed a € 17 million Series B financing round.
The financing round was led by different MIG-Fonds, Santo Venture Capital, G+J Digital Ventures, Salvia and Bernd Wendeln as investors. LUTZ | ABEL advised on the transaction.
The German healthcare start-up Temedica GmbH, which is based in Munich and was founded by Gloria Seibert and Clemens Kofler, closed a € 17 million Series B financing round. MIG-Fonds, Santo Venture Capital and Salvia lead the round – existing shareholders like G+J Digital Ventures and Bernd Wendeln were additional investors.
Founded in 2016, the start-up develops digital companions (such as apps) to support patients in their healing process and to improve their medical care. Until today Temedica came up with the products pelvina (to strengthen the pelvic base), Mineo (to strengthen the back) as well as Waya (for a healthy nutrition and motion sequence). Further product developments are in the process of planning.
The LUTZ | ABEL team included the following attorneys: The partners Dr. Bernhard Noreisch (Munich) and Dr. Lorenz Jellinghaus (Hamburg) led the transaction. The team further consisted of Claudia Knuth (Labour Law, Hamburg), Andreas Kössel (Labour Law, Munich), Jan-Phillip Kunz (VC, Munich), Nina Sophie Osten (VC, Hamburg), Dr. Cornelius Renner (IT, Data Protection Law, Berlin), Ute Schenn (Commercial, Stuttgart), Dr. André Schmidt (IT, Data Protection Law, Hamburg).
The investors Santo Venture Capital and Salvia were represented by honert + partner (Sven Fritsche, Munich).
- The start-up Price f(x) managed to score EUR 23 million within the extension of the series B-financing. Leading investors are Digital + Partners and Bain & Company, while Talis Capital increased their investment. LUTZ | ABEL again acted as company counsel of Price f(x) in this transaction.
Founded in 2011, the Munich-based start-up provides a modular SaaS solution for price optimisation management (PO&M) and configure-price-quote (CPQ) for enterprises of any size. The extended investment was let by Digital + Partners, a European B2B technology growth investor and the management consulting firm Bain & Company. Talis Capital, the initial series A investor, followed with a raise, while it brings the series B-financing as a whole to EUR 48 million.
The new funding allows Price f(x) to further expand their platform capabilities, add new functionality, introduce several new products to the market and place a special focus on sales and marketing in 2020. The start-up expects continued global expansion through organic and partner-enabled growth as well as strategic developments. According to the company, Price f(x) could triple their valuation within the last 12 months.
LUTZ | ABEL VC experts assisted Price f(x) again in this financing round. Dr. Bernhard Noreisch and Jan-Phillip Kunz provided comprehensive legal advice.
- Fintech Tomorrow closed EUR 8.5 Mio series A equity financing. The Hamburg-based sustainable mobile banking provider plans to expand to the European market within the next year.
The financing round was led by British VC Fonds ETF Partners. Amongst Tomorrow’s investors are former N26 CFO and entrepreneur Christian Rebernik, green power pioneer Matthias Willenbacher and Vitafy founder Georg Bader.
Dr. Marco Eickmann, LL.M., Philipp Hoene and Dr. Sebastian Sumalvico assisted Tomorrow with comprehensive legal advice.
- CoachHub, located in Berlin, managed to secure EUR 10 million within the frame of a series A2-financing round. Leading investor is the international early stage investor RTP Global, while the current investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Partech and Speedinvest increase their investment. LUTZ | ABEL advised RTP Global as part of the financing round.
CoachHub operates a digital training platform. The Berlin-based company aims at offering different kind of trainings, such as time management, stress reduction and leadership skills for anybody throughout entire businesses rather than to managers only. CoachHub is already working with over 400 qualified coaches and employs 70 people. The platform does not only make trainings available for more clients around the world but also helps coaches to enlarge their customer circle worldwide and improve their expert skills. CoachHub will focus on its international sales program during the upcoming year. The company expects an increase of its number of employees up to 200 until mid-2020.
Consulting lawyers RTP Global
LUTZ | ABEL Rechtsanwalts PartG mbB
Dr. Marco Eickmann, Partner
Dr. Sebastian Sumalvico
- LUTZ | ABEL represented Hamburg headquartered ROCCAT GmbH in its agreement to sell its worldwide PC peripherals business to Turtle Beach Corporation for up to $19.2 million.
LUTZ | ABEL represented Hamburg headquartered ROCCAT GmbH in its agreement to sell its worldwide PC peripherals business to Turtle Beach Corporation for up to $19.2 million. The transaction was announced on March 14, 2019.
Further information on the transaction you will find here.