The [German] Ministry of Finance was kind enough to allow companies to give their workers and employees an extra cash injection in these crisis-ridden days of corona. Up to 1500 euro – tax-free!!! This means that, with the next pay slip, we will recalculate the 1000 euro, which I already sent you gross with the last pay slip, so that you also get the income tax back. That’s very good news to start with. Now, shortly before Easter, the feast of resurrection and peace, I’m going to top it up – to use an oil idiom – by giving you another 500 euro with your next salary payment. This time net, i.e. free of taxes and deductions – hooray! Thanks to Mr. Scholz [the German Finance Minister] ...
It is no consolation, it is not really a bonus, certainly not extra salary – it is a hardship allowance. Especially for those colleagues who do not have the opportunity to work from home, but must still come to our factory, laboratory and shipping department to work. That is not easy in these times and under these circumstances. And therefore I am all the more pleased to be able to relieve you of at least some financial worries. You’ve earned it! You’re doing a bang-up job right now! Of course, I am also thinking of our sales teams in countries where a curfew or similar restriction has been imposed. A few hundred salespeople who, while still highly disciplined and motivated on the phone at home, do their best and fight for every single customer, but who naturally also suffer a loss of commissions due to decreasing orders and lost business. The concrete plan for this is as follows: After the crisis, catch up on everything in terms of turnover, income and commissions that we are currently unable to achieve.
It is still my ambition not to have to draw any short-time compensation from the state. After all, it’s nothing but taxpayers’ money that is being used here. We prefer to leave this sensible instrument of job security to the companies that really need it urgently. There will be quite a number of these. But, just as surely, there will be one or the other unscrupulous company that is now quite cleverly passing on its labor costs to the general public – without this really being due to economic hardship.
We ourselves are still in the fortunate position of surviving on our own. Logically, our profits are also melting away like ice in the sun and we must also tap into our reserves from successful years in which the profits were good. Well, that’s just how it is now. But I don’t want to be one of those who privatize profits in good times and nationalize losses in bad times. I am sure that, in this honorable way, we will not only come through the crisis halfway unscathed, but also with our heads held high! Doing the right thing is also important to me.
So, I now wish you once again a nice weekend and send you my greetings in gratitude and with humility.