March 23, 2020 / 1:30 PM / in 13 days

Swiss authorities say 21,000 companies apply for short-work regimes in March

ZURICH, March 23 (Reuters) - A record 21,000 Swiss companies have applied this month for government support for 315,000 staff put on short working hours due to coronavirus triggered shut-downs, a government official said on Monday.

Around a quarter of all companies in the southern canton of Ticino, which borders Italy, had sought state aid to compensate workers put on short hours, Boris Zuercher, head of the labour department at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, told a news conference in Bern.

Short-time working compensation is a measure the government hopes will avoid layoffs as the coronavirus epidemic rages. (Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Revill)

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