Antivirus programme – provision of contributions to employers
The government approved modification of the so-called “Antivirus” targeted programme for support of employment (hereinafter referred to only as the “Antivirus Programme”) on 31.03.2020. The aim of this programme is to help preserve jobs during the adverse situation which we are currently experiencing caused by the coronavirus epidemic, and within the framework of which, the government should provide contributions to employers to help cover salary compensation paid out by the employers. In this edition of the News, we would like to familiarise you briefly with the version of the Antivirus Programme approved by the government which has been prepared for the period of March and April 2020.
New contribution modes
Contributions will be provided to employers whose activity is threatened (has been halted) as a result of the spread of the epidemic, this being for partial reimbursement of salary compensation which employees will be entitled to as a result of selected obstacles to work which have arisen as a result of the epidemic and as a result of the measures imposed by the government and the respective ministries. An obstacle to work is a situation when the employee cannot perform work.
The decisive feature will thus be which obstacle to work has occurred preventing specific employees from working. The employer will have to define this precisely and prove it.
The newly approved version of the Antivirus Programme brings with it simplification of contribution modes to the following two:
Modes A – types of obstacles:
- In the event of quarantine being imposed, the employee is paid salary compensation in the level of 60% of the employee’s average reduced earnings in accordance with Section 192 of the Labour Code (hereinafter referred to only as “LC”).
- In the event of closure or restriction of the employer’s operations due to a government decree, salary compensation in the amount of 100% of the employee’s average earnings should be paid according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
In these two cases, a contribution will be provided to the employer in the amount of 80% of salary compensation paid out, including statutory payments such as social security and health insurance premiums, at most however in the amount of CZK 39,000.00 per employee per month.
Modes B – types of obstacles:
- Obstacles to work on the part of the employer due to imposition of quarantine or care for a child involving a significant number of employees (30% or more) – the employee is paid salary compensation in the level of 100% of the employee’s average earnings in accordance with Section 208 of the LC.
- Restriction in the availability of supplies (raw materials, products and services) necessary for the employer’s activity, in the event of which the employee is paid salary compensation in the level of at least 80% of the employee’s average earnings in accordance with Section 207 (a) of the LC.
- Reduction in demand for services, commodities and other company products, in the event of which the employee is paid salary compensation in the level of at least 60% of the employee’s average earnings in accordance with Section 209 of the LC.
A contribution will be provided to the employer in the amount of 60% of salary compensation paid out, including statutory payments such as social security and health insurance premiums, at most however in the amount of CZK 29,000.00 per employee per month.
Additional basic conditions for provision of contributions have also now been defined:
- The employer must strictly comply with the provisions of the Labour Code.
- The employee must not be in a notice period and must not have been given notice of termination.
- The Antivirus Programme relates to employers in the commercial (private) sector, employees must be employed (i.e. not working “subject to an agreement”) and they must participate in insurance of sick pay and pension insurance (in our opinion, this point rules out use of contributions for compensation of remuneration paid out to statutory bodies – e.g. executive directors).
- The employer must pay the employee’s salary and make statutory payments for social security and health insurance premiums, etc.
Where and when will it be possible to apply
Applications will be accepted and contributions paid by the Czech Labour Office.
The level of the contribution and period of its provision will depend on the reason for creation of the obstacle to work for each employee. For this reason, the obstacle will have to be precisely defined and proven.
Applications should be accepted from Monday, 6 April.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs anticipates that there will be a delay of a few days between submission of the application and payment of the contribution.
Applications will be submitted exclusively in electronic format. A web application for acceptance of requests should be launched together with launch of the Antivirus Programme.
Additional (more detailed) information
Detailed information (methodology) about the Antivirus Programme was still not published in full as at today’s date (01.04.2020).
Just like on previous days, proposals by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the government have undergone dynamic development. Even now, we cannot completely rule out change to the information provided above.
All we can do is closely follow further developments and we will continue to do so for you.
We will be happy to help you draw up applications and any other submissions you may require.
Please also do not hesitate to contact us if anything is unclear or if you have any questions. We are certain that together we will be able to overcome the adverse situation we are experiencing at present.
WTS Alfery Team