The German events business has warned the industry faces a fresh round of layoffs without an extension to the short-term work allowance.
The allowance has provided partial compensation for loss of earnings due to the pandemic, but has only been extended to 31 March by the federal government, with employers able to claim just 50% reimbursement of social security contributions.
Trade bodies including the Event Management Forum (EMF), which comprises five major organisations including live music associations BDKV and LiveKomm, say the move would lead to a further exodus of skilled workers, making it “impossible” to restart the business.
“COMPANIES ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO FINANCE SALARIES ON THEIR OWN”
“Our industry is economically hardest hit by the containment measures,” says Marcus Pohl, first chairman of independent events trade body ISDV. “Due to the now agreed term until the end of March, the last employees who have remained loyal to the industry will have to be terminated.
“Due to the lack of any possibility of generating income and the resulting decline in sales of more than 80%, companies are no longer able to finance salaries on their own.”
With no sign of a reopening date, the industry remains dependent on government aid measures. The EMF presented a series of demands to government last month, amid concerns no major tours will be able to take place in the first half of 2022.
“The further extension of the short-time allowance and the assumption of 100% of the social costs incurred during short-time work is currently the most urgently requested measure by all companies,” adds BDKV president Jens Michow.
Germany’s €2.5 billion event cancellation fund has ‘hardly been used’ so far, according to a report published last week. The government-backed insurance pot, announced in December 2020, was introduced to enable event organisers to plan for Q3 and Q4 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.
However, the report notes it is expected “that the number and volume of applications will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months because events are being avoided or increasingly cancelled in the current pandemic situation”.
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