Employers Receive Higher Subsidies for Employees Aged 60 and Older

Date

2020 06 12

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Older workers fear that the economic hardship caused by the pandemic will make employers less inclined to keep them in employment, as older people are at greater risk from a health point of view. For this reason, it was decided to pay subsidies to employers for older workers put to downtime during the state of emergency or quarantine. Thus, older employees would maintain their jobs until companies return to previous levels of work.

Amounts of subsidies for employees aged 60 and older who are put to downtime during the state of emergency or quarantine (this also will be valid after the end of quarantine during the continuing state of emergency):

  • 100 percent from the calculated salary, but not more than EUR 607 gross.
  • 70 percent from the calculated salary, but not more than EUR 910.5 gross.

During downtime, an employee may not be paid less than the minimum monthly wage if the full working time rate has been agreed.

After the end of quarantine and the state of emergency, or after the employee returns from downtime, the employer can continue applying for 6 months’ subsidies for the salary of the same employee: 100% in the first-second month, 50% in the third-fourth month, 30% in the fifth-sixth month.

In all cases, the maximum subsidy limit after downtime or state of emergency is EUR 607 gross, unless the company is included in a list of activities focused on advanced technologies, knowledge-intensive services, the pursuit of green course goals and social dialogue approved by the Minister of Social Security and Labour and the Minister of Economy and Innovation. In this case, the subsidy limit may reach EUR 1214 gross. The list can be found here.

The decision to offer subsidies for older employees put to downtime is part of a plan developed by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour for older citizens who could have been more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than other groups of population.

Other measures include funding for an emotional helpline for seniors, digital literacy training for older people, more intensive and targeted provision of services in municipalities, referral of NGOs and volunteers to work with older people.

What Are the News Related to Subsidies and Job-Search Allowances?

  • Employers will be allowed to declare downtime for employees and request subsidies from the Employment Service even after the end of quarantine, but while the state of emergency continues. In this case, it applies both to 90 or 70 percent salary subsidies when an employee is put to downtime and paid at least the minimum salary for a full time job, and to subsidies for employees over 60 years of age. This is done taking into account the possibility that not all employers will be able to provide employees with full amount of work after the end of quarantine. This means that the period for receiving subsidies is extended.
  • Employers will be able to choose which subsidies to receive when employing supported unemployed people sent by the Employment Service – the disabled, long-term unemployed, young or older unemployed and the like. In the absence of quarantine, such workers are usually paid 75%, 60% or 50% subsidies depending on the target group (such subsidies have existed for a long time). And as the aid for overcoming the consequences of quarantine, subsidies of 100-50-30 percent decreasing every two months have been established for employees performing their job functions. The employer will be allowed to choose a more beneficial option.
  • Payment of temporary job-search allowance for the unemployed registered with the Employment Service will start before the end of quarantine and can be paid for 6 months from the date of entry into force of the law, but not longer than by the end of this year. In addition, the temporary job-search allowance will not be reduced if the person receives any social insurance pension or benefit, social assistance benefit, state pension, annuity, and the like. In other words, when a person receives sickness benefit or a state pension, the job-search allowance will be EUR 200, not EUR 42.
  • People will receive a temporary job-search allowance as soon as they become unemployed, not when their severance pay term from the employer who has dismissed them expires. The same will apply when a person applies for the normal unemployment social insurance benefit, which is due when the person has accumulated at least 12 months of unemployment social insurance record in the last 30 months. This amendment has been adopted because, in some cases, employers are obliged to pay severance pay to dismissed people, but it is not paid immediately.