Situation of employees who, in the event of the temporary closure of an enterprise (or establishment) or a temporary reduction of working hours, are in receipt of partial maintenanceof their pay via a compensatory mechanism set up by general multi-industry agreement, possibly with assistance from the State. The purpose of the mechanism is to pay compensation for partial unemployment.
By extension, and through confusion, the term is also used to refer to the situation of exclusion from work suffered as a result of temporary closure. It also applies to situations where short-time working is temporarily introduced for economic reasons. These situations, which should properly be referred to as "chômage technique" (layoff), do not exempt employers from paying wages in full unless they succeed in arranging payment of the compensatory allowances for partial unemployment.
Use of the mechanism is limited by the need to obtain authorization (for payment) from the authorities and by the fact that compensation is payable for only a fixed quota of hours.
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.