Judgment on comparison month
The Supreme Administrative Court has examined the issue of how the comparison month is to be determined in accordance with the Act (2013:948) on support related to short-term employment. The court's ruling differs from Tillväxtverket's, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth's, interpretation. During week 26, Tillväxtverket will contact companies by e-mail that have not received a final decision in the final reconciliation and can request a change of comparison month. Companies that have received a decision on their final reconciliation have the opportunity to appeal or request a review.
For Short-Time Work Allowance, Tillväxtverket applies a comparison month to know how normal the situation is in a company seeking the allowance. This is the reference month that Tillväxtverket bases its determination on which workers are eligible for the allowance.
The Supreme Administrative Court's ruling means that the comparison month is the calendar month that falls three months before Tillväxtverket decided on the approval of the allowance.
Only companies with a comparison month in accordance with the judgment that differs from the month on which Tillväxtverket based its decision are affected by the judgment.
Companies can both benefit from, and be disadvantaged by, a change in the comparison month
Tillväxtverket's, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth's, analyses show that, for most companies, a change in the comparison month does not mean any change in the right to support. The vast majority of companies have the same number of employees entitled to the allowance even if the comparison month were to change in accordance with the judgment. A small number of companies can benefit from a change in the comparison month. This applies to companies that have previously been rejected for one or more employees in their application. For some companies, the consequence of changing the month of comparison may be that they lose the right to the allowance for one or more employees for whom they have previously received support. This may mean a lower amount of support.
Companies should therefore take careful consideration before requesting a change in the comparison month.
Companies that can benefit from a change in the comparison month
Companies that have previously been rejected for one or more employees in their application may benefit from changing the comparison month. A new comparison month may entitle the company to support for the employees which were previously rejected (for example, newly employed in the previous comparison month with salary in arrears), provided that the employees have worked short-time and the employer has had an agreement with them.
All the conditions for eligibility must also be fulfilled in the new comparison month.
Companies do not always need to change the comparison month to include employees
Keep in mind that companies do not always need a new comparison month to include employees for whom the company has not been granted support.
Companies that can be disadvantaged from a change in the comparison month
- Companies may lose support for employees they previously applied for and received support for. This applies in cases where the persons have not been employed or the company has not paid a salary and employer's contributions for them in the new, amended comparison month.
- Workers made redundant after the comparison month as defined earlier and supported during the period of notice, may be lost if the new amended comparison month is after the period of notice. The right to support during the period of notice is therefore lost in those cases.
Companies not affected by the judgment
- Companies that have not been rejected for employees in their application will have the same amount of support even with a new comparison month.
- Companies that have the same comparison month according to the judgment and according to Tillväxtverket's previous interpretation are not affected.
- Companies that have only applied for support for 2021 (and did not have support in 2020) are not affected. For those companies, the comparison month is always September 2020.
- Companies intending only to seek support for the announced extension of support during July-September 2021 are not affected. For those companies, the comparison month is always April 2021.
- If a change of the comparison month would mean that employees are reinstated in the new comparison month but the employees do not meet teh requirements for short-time work, the company is not affected. Employees who have not been covered by short-time contracts and have had a reduction in pay and working hours during the company's months of support are therefore not eligible.
Important to consider for a possible request for a change/review of the comparison month
- It is the company that decides whether or not to change or reconsider previous decisions regarding the comparison month. Unfortunately, Tillväxtverket will not be able to advise on whether or not it is advantageous to change the comparison month. The company must make that assessment itself. Only each individual company possesses the information necessary to make that decision.
- Changing to another comparison month may mean a lower amount of support. Not all companies benefit from changing the comparison month.
- In the case of a request for a change in the comparison month or in the event of a reconsideration, the company must attest valid absence for persons who were absent in the new comparison month.