Voluntary agreement on reduced working hours due to COVID-19

Foto: Ulrik Jantzen.

For companies and employees who have agreed to reduce working hours and salary due to Covid-19, the parties to The Collective Agreement for Architects have drawn up a template to use as a starting point for voluntary agreements within the companies.

The organisations to The Collective Agreement have drawn up a template for a voluntary agreement on reduced working hours, which the parties may use as a starting point within the individual companies.

Download the template at the bottom of the page

The agreement should only be employed in the event of operational causes that are expected to be of short duration. The reason for this should be discussed and explained to the employees. The expected duration must be announced in advance and inserted in paragraph 4.

The organisations recommend the parties to avoid entering into voluntary agreements on reduced working hours with certain groups of employees:

  • Employees on long term sick leave as well as employees on leave of absence. By notification of fitness to return to work or return from leave of absence, the employee may decide to enter into a voluntary agreement on reduced working hours.
  • Employees in flex jobs, employees under notice, temporary employees as well as employees that are or will be comprised by regulations of early retirement benefits under the duration of the agreement.

As these voluntary agreements are basically agreed upon based on a situation in which the company experiences a significant decline in activity, it will rarely be reasonable to recruit new staff under the duration of these agreements, unless it is a question of new duties or competences that the company does not have at their disposal in advance, and the needs of the company cannot be met by retraining or educating current employees.

Should an exceptional recruitment of new staff happen during the period of the agreement, the union representative should be informed in advance on the situation and have the opportunity to make a statement. Where no union representative has been elected, the employees should be informed.

The organisations recommend that the companies continuously inform their employees on the situation of the company, and the union representatives/the chosen contact should be involved in this process.

The orientation and meeting frequency will vary according to the individual company’s needs and situation, but the organisations recommend that this should happen every other week at the very least.

Download template: Voluntary agreement on temporary reduction of working hours due to COVID-19