Employer President Rainer Dulger declared in the run-up to the Minister Presidents' Conference with the Chancellor early next week:
We are facing difficult and decisive weeks - employers are ready for dialogue
Berlin, 5 February 2021 The further aid for the economy agreed this week in the coalition committee shows the will of politicians to alleviate the consequences of the closure decisions. But they do not go far enough and, in particular, do not replace the prospect of reopening, do not promote the willingness to invest, do not increase recruitment or employment opportunities and, unfortunately, are not a signal for a normalisation of economic relations.
Of course, protecting the health of the population in a pandemic must be a priority. We are aware that the mutation of the virus requires an adapted approach. But in our view it is irresponsible to continue the measures in principle without presenting a clear and rule-based exit scenario.
Many companies are not only in an existential emergency. They also lack any planning horizon - or rather: a light at the end of the tunnel. In such a situation, as a responsible entrepreneur, they cannot postpone insolvency or take out loans forever. They inevitably reach a point where they have to cut employment. Many companies have already reached this point, many are on the verge of it.
Week after week, we lose small and medium-sized businesses in this way - especially hotels, retailers, restaurants and other service providers. All of them will not come back. The loss of these structures will be permanent - in the cities as well as in rural areas.
Germany is facing decisive weeks. The coming decisions will have great relevance for the future of our country. Business is offering its expertise to develop sustainable solutions. We have proven that we can make the workplace a safe place with consistent hygiene and pandemic plans. We can contribute with our company doctors to vaccinate the population through faster. We have ideas on how to get our country back on track after the pandemic to generate growth and jobs.
That is why we employers want a timely exchange with politicians about a strategy that responsibly links the reduction of infection figures and the reduction of insolvencies. The proposal of a Germany plan, discussed freedoms for vaccinated people and a smart infection control through an app, are first contributions to this exchange.
As employers' organisations, we are ready for dialogue.