On the last day of March, the Act of 2 March 2020 on Specific Solutions Related to the Prevention and Eradication of COVID-19, Other Infectious Diseases and Crisis Situations Caused by Them was amended. The amended act is commonly referred to as the anti-crisis shield, as it introduced various forms of support for entrepreneurs, employers, employees and service providers.
Among its various solutions, the amendment introduced the regulation aimed at supporting employers and employees – subsidies to the remuneration of employees affected by economic downtime or reduced working hours. The right to apply for subsidies was granted to entrepreneurs who suffered a decrease in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. The subsidies are paid during periods of economic downtime or reduced working time.
In order to take advantage of the subsidies, the employer pays the employee covered by economic downtime the salary, reduced by no more than 50%, and not lower than the amount of the minimum salary; or the employer may reduce working time by 20%, not more than to 0.5 of full-time employment, with the proviso that the remuneration may not be lower than the minimum salary. The subsidies are paid from the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund.
The conditions of performing work during periods of economic downtime or reduced working time shall be determined in an agreement between the employer and trade unions / employees’ representatives. The application for subsidies should be submitted by the employer to the competent regional labour inspector.
Current solutions to the anti-crisis shield are often criticised as insufficient. Amendments to the new novelization act, commonly known as the anti-crisis shield 2.0, are pending at this time.
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