EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change


Phase: Management
  • Income support for workers
  • Working time flexibility
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Име (на собств. език):


Име на английски:



Scaffolding trade, construction sector including both blue and white-collar workers.

Main characteristics

This instrument guarantees employees a 100% payment in lieu of accumulated time credits (in the framework of working time accounts) in the event of their employer becoming insolvent.

Payments are made according to agreed hourly wages at the time of payment. Individual security tickets guarantee reimbursement of time accounts based on monthly per person or per hour (gross wage) deposits by the employer. The employer pays an additional lump sum of €7.50 plus €1.50 per employee (in 2020). An external IT service can be used to reduce bureaucracy. Usage is voluntary and it is up to the employer to decide whether or not to implement this scheme.

In addition, the scheme can also be used to deplete working time accounts during winter season (when demand for construction services is low). In this case, the Federal Employment Agency provides a subsidy worth €2.50 per every working hour used.

The maximum period of the instrument is 12 months.


  • Companies

Involved actors

National government
Legal framework.
Employer or employee organisations
This instrument is based on the initiative of the social partners. The administrator is Soka-Bau, the social security fund for the scaffolding trade. Companies pay monthly contributions for Sikoflex accounts.
The administrator is Soka-Bau, the social security fund for the scaffolding trade. Companies pay monthly contributions for Sikoflex accounts.


According to the latest data available ( November 2020), as of December 2017, there were approximately 30,000 Sikoflex accounts held by about 1,100 companies (10% increase from 2016). 


Working time accounts are spreading, resulting in concerns over employees' risk of losing credits and reimbursement in the case of employer insolvency. While the 2009 Act for improving the framework conditions of safeguarding flexible working time arrangements addresses this problem for long-term working time accounts, Sikoflex addresses short-term accounts of up to a 12-months duration. It thereby provides working time flexibility and income security for workers saving uptime in working time accounts. Employees are more willing to use such tools when working time accounts are insured against company's bankruptcy. Advantages for companies are manifold: Simple administrative procedures support small businesses' use of working time accounts, attractive interest rates are granted, improved liquidity in times of low demand for companies' products.

In addition, Sikoflex provides a one-stop shop solution with low charges for Sikoflex and easy implementation at the company level. As mentioned above, credits accumulated in working time accounts are insured against bankruptcy. According to a small survey by Soka-Bau, 96% of the surveyed companies were very satisfied or satisfied with the instrument and 93% would recommend Sikoflex.


Employers might be unwilling to act proactively and consider the consequences of insolvency for their employees.


Bauer, Chini, Kirchner.
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