(Updated 26 March 2020, 9am CET)

The pictures across Europe and here in Germany are pretty surreal. More of us are working from home for longer than we ever have before and even the most senior people in the Government are self-isolating and getting tested for COVID-19. The rapidly-changing situation of COVID-19 means Governments and agencies around the world are constantly updating and reviewing advice and support, especially for the health and safety concerns of people. Amidst the barrage of news, the uncertainty and sometimes even the fear people feel, I get it can be difficult to get clear advice about what you and your people can be entitled to and how to apply.

So while I’m here in my third week working from home — and with the strong recommendation that you get in touch with your local authority to get specific information and advice — here are some measures you should consider when seeing if Government assistance can help you, writes Planday’s Customer Success Manager for Germany, Michael Scheiblich from Hamburg. 

If you told me what’s on the news today was going to happen a few months ago, I would never have believed you. And yet in the most rapid fashion imaginable, the way every business in the world operates now has changed. We understand this is a really tough time for many businesses and those in the hospitality, retail, healthcare and leisure and entertainment sectors.

We have tips for each of these sectors to invest now and come out the other side of this crisis as strong as possible. Head over to The Planday Blog to find out more on what this means to you. 

But it’s a pretty weird time for all of us. Globally, Governments are rightly offering help to those businesses and the people they employ who are affected by change in working conditions or circumstances. So here’s a quick list of some of the support measures your business might be able to access in Germany to help you bounce back stronger.

1. Immediate financial aid for small businesses

Immediate financial grants are currently available for small businesses. These apply to all economic sectors, as well as self-employed and freelancers with up to 10 employees. The scheme is administered by local municipalities, so we encourage you to get in touch with them to see if your business is eligible

Support for businesses is based on the number of people you employ.

Employee number Grant 
Up to 5 up to €9000 one-time payment for 3 months* 
Up to 10 up to €15,000 one-time payment for 3 months*


*If your rent is reduced by your landlord by at least 20 percent, the additional unused excise can be used for two further months.

2. Short-time work allowance

Please make sure you read the guidelines

If your business has reduced orders or there’s less work for at least 10 per cent of the people you employ, the criteria to use a short-time work allowance has become easier because of the impacts on your business of COVID-19.

The short-term work allowance allows businesses like yours to pay for the effective time someone is at work and federal government agencies make a contribution towards the rest, up to a monthly wage of €6,500 depending on where you do business in Germany.

Take a look at what the easier criteria means and information on how to apply for support here.

3. Loans and guarantees for businesses

Businesses around the world are trying to limit cash burn and access fresh liquidity where they can. As a result, a series of loans and guarantees are available for some German businesses to help them get through this crisis.

Here are the categories of loans and guarantees available:

Loan/guarantee Amount 
Acute loans Up to €2 million
General loans Up to €5 million or €10 million 

As well as loans, existing liquidity assistance programs will be expanded to make it easier for businesses to access cheap loans from private banks, by relaxing the usual rules and changing the turnover threshold. The government will also give cover to export credit guarantees.

4. Tax assistance

In order to help businesses like yours boost liquidity, options for deferring tax payments and reducing prepayments will be enhanced to help you get through.

  • If collecting tax payments would lead your business to significant hardship, they can be deferred
  • The overall payment of tax may be reduced if your income in this tax year is expected to be less than last year
  • Late payment penalties may be waived until the end of 2020 if your ability to pay any of the above is directly affected by COVID-19

We understand that this is a very worrying time for many businesses and people around the world. We are ready to support businesses, make communications more seamless and bring your team together with smart digital tools.


This piece is general in nature and should not be taken as professional, legal or qualified advice. Before taking any action at this time, we urge you to read the terms and conditions of each of the relevant agencies and seek your own specific professional advice before making any business decision. All information has been sourced from Government agencies and websites, as well as news and other coverage, and links are contained within.

If you or your business are a Planday customer, our support team is available to assist your business bounce back stronger once this crisis ends.

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