The government approved changes to the Antivirus Programme on 31 March 2020. The originally proposed and published five types of support for employers from the Labour Office were eventually merged into two – regimes A and B.
Based on the new version of the programme, the state will provide support in the following form:
Regime A – forced restriction of operation due to emergency measures and quarantine
- employees under quarantine receive salary compensation in the amount of 60% of average reduced earnings (impediment to work on the employee’s part);
- if a business is closed based on the government’s regulation, employees receive 100% salary compensation (impediment to work on the employer’s part).
In this regime, the state should reimburse the employers for 80% of the salary compensation paid including levies, but only up to CZK 39,000.
Regime B – related economic difficulties
- impediments to work on the employer’s part due to a quarantine order or care for children affecting a significant part of employees (at least 30%) – employees receive salary compensation equal to 100% of average earnings;
- unavailability of inputs (raw materials, products, services) necessary for business activities – employees receive salary compensation equal to 80% of average earnings;
- restriction of demand for services, products and other deliveries – employees receive salary compensation equal to 60% of average earnings.
In this regime, the state should reimburse the employers for 60% of the salary compensation paid including levies, but only up to CZK 29,000.
In both cases, the amount of compensation for employers is derived from the average super-gross salary including mandatory levies (CZK 48,400); 80% and 60% of the above amount will be compensated in regimes A and B, respectively.
The employers’ entitlement to compensation is also conditional on meeting the following criteria, which have been approved and published by the government:
- the employer strictly complies with the Labour Code;
- compensation is not payable for employees who have been given notice, except for termination under Section 52 (g) and (h) of the Labour Code (notice on the grounds of breach of the employee’s obligations);
- compensation applies to companies operating a business, with regular employees who participate in sickness and pension insurance schemes;
- the employer must pay the salary (this probably means compensation for salary) and the associated levies.
According to information available on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Antivirus Programme should be launched on 1 April, and the web application for submitting applications on 6 April.
The contribution should be paid by the Labour Office within days of submitting the application. All applications for contributions will be submitted electronically.
Finally, we would like to point out that on 31 March 2020, the government approved the Targeted Employment Support Programme (the “Targeted Programme”), an estimate of its costs and a timetable for its utilisation. Based on the Targeted Programme, the eligibility of costs within the Antivirus Programme should end on 30 April 2020, with a possible extension. In view of the actual development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs now anticipates that this period will be extended to also cover May 2020. The Antivirus Programme can be utilised to pay eligible costs incurred by employers after the state of emergency was declared on 12 March 2020. Extension of the Antivirus Programme is conditional on approval by the government.
It cannot be ruled out that further requirements will be published with regard to the mentioned contributions, apart from the conditions which have already been approved and published. As a matter of fact, the Targeted Programme itself states that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is authorised to set more detailed conditions for the provision of contributions by means an internal management act in accordance with the Antivirus Programme approved by the government.
We will inform you of the contents of the Targeted Programme in the coming days.