Germany to extend short-time work benefits again-sources

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BERLIN — The German government has agreed to a plan from Labour Minister Hubertus Heil to extend until the end of September special rules for short-time work allowances due to the coronavirus pandemic, government sources said on Tuesday.

Short-time work allows employers to switch employees to shorter working hours during an economic downturn to keep them on the payroll. It aims to prevent shocks such as the coronavirus crisis leading to mass unemployment.

The draft plan to extend a full reimbursement by the government of social contributions paid by companies is due to be formally agreed by the German cabinet on Wednesday. The government will also extend simplified access to the benefits. (Reporting by Holger Hansen, writing by Emma Thomasson Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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