>Austria, Belgium and Germany have extended their short-time working schemes (also known as partial unemployment) to include agency workers, as part of measures being taken on a national level to address the current economic crisis. The countries expanded the scheme to include temporary work agencies in order to help them deal with the impact of the downturn in the economy.
>All three national governments have established special conditions to accompany access to the scheme. In Belgium, for example, workers are required to have been employed by the agency for at least three months, been active in a sector that is facing reduced demand due to the crisis and been working in a department where short-time working is also applied.
The extension of short-time working schemes to agency workers grants these workers better protection as requested by the agency work industry. As the voice of a socially responsible industry, Eurociett encourages national governments to enhance the protection of agency workers in these dire economic times.