German events industry warns of staff exodus

The German events company has warned that the industry is facing a new round of layoffs without an extension of short-term work allowance.

The allowance partially compensated for the loss of income due to the pandemic, but was only extended until March 31 by the federal government, with employers only eligible for 50% of the 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 industry. ‘business.

“Companies are no longer able to finance salaries alone”

“Our industry is economically the hardest hit by the containment measures,” says Marcus Pohl, first president of ISDV, the independent events trade body. “Due to the term now agreed until the end of March, the last employees who remained loyal to the industry will have to be made redundant.

“Due to the lack of opportunity to generate revenue and the resulting drop in sales of more than 80%, companies are no longer able to fund salaries alone.”

Without indication of a reopening date, the sector remains dependent on government aid measures. EMF made a series of demands to the government last month over concerns that no major tours could take place in the first half of 2022.

“The further extension of the short-time working allowance and the 100% assumption of the social costs incurred during short-time working is currently the measure most requested by all companies”, adds BDKV President Jens Michow.

Germany’s 2.5 billion euro event cancellation fund has “not been used” so far, according to a report published last week. The government-backed insurance pot, announced in December 2020, was introduced to allow event organizers to plan for the third and fourth quarters of 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

However, the report notes that it is “expected that the number and volume of requests will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months as events are avoided or increasingly canceled in the current pandemic situation.”

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Jennifer C. Burleigh