At the beginning of the week before the Easter holidays, the Government introduced two schemes of state aid. The first one was meant for the employers who were forced to close their units based on the measures of the Slovak Public Health Authority (PHA) and the second one was targeted to employers who stayed open and whose revenues dropped down. Deadlines for filing the applications were planed to 6 and 9 April but the second one was postponed several times.
The week after Easter the structure of state aid changed dramatically. Not only the number of schemes doubled (from 2 to 4) but the number of qualifying conditions raised as well. Currently (as of 20 April 10 a.m. ) there is a scheme of state aid for:
- employers (including self-employed who are employers) who were forced to shut down their units based on the measures of PHA
- self-employed who had to close their units or whose revenues dropped down
- employers (including self-employed who are employers) who keep the job positions even in case of interrupting or reducing their businesses
- self-employed or one-man companies who have no other income from 13 March (date of PHA's decision).
Scheme 1. As of 13 March 2020, all retailers (except for groceries, drug stores, pharmacies, and pet-stores) were ordered to close down. In case these employers made their employees use garden leave (technical unemployment) they are eligible to aid amounting to 80 % of employees' salaries, up to a maximum of EUR 1.100 (per month per employee). In case the technical unemployment was based on an agreement with employee representatives and the employer paid employees less than 80 % of their salaries, state aid would recover the actual costs, EUR 880 at maximum.
Scheme 2. Self-employed who had to interrupt or reduce their business activities are eligible to state aid in case their revenues dropped down. The amount of state aid corresponds to the decrease of revenues shown in the tables below (under the Scheme 3).
Scheme 3. Employers are able to keep the job positions during the corona restrictions are allowed to chose from two options of state aid:
- Recovery of personal costs up to 80 % of the salary of an employee who is on garden leave (technically unemployed), EUR 880;
- Contribution per employee in the amount as shown in the tables below.
|Decrease of revenues||Personal costs contribution MARCH 2020|
less than 10 %
10 % - 19,99 %
20 % - 29,99 %
30 % - 39,99 %
40 % and more
|Decrease of revenues||Personal costs contribution APRIL and MAY 2020|
less than 20 %
20 % - 39,99 %
40 % - 59,99 %
60 % - 79,99 %
80 % and more
In both options, the employer is obliged to keep the job position for 2 months following the month for which such a state aid has been paid. State aid is eligible only for employees who were on garden leave, i.e. not for those who were using their holidays, were on pandemic or sick leave.
It is important to underline that employer can choose only one of these options for the whole duration of the Corona crisis and can not change it on a monthly basis.
Scheme 4. This scheme will be online as of 20 April and supports specific entrepreneurs such as one-man companies as well as self-employed having no other income. The contribution is EUR 105 per month (March 2020), respectively EUR 210 per month (April, May 2020).
Finally, all general conditions applicable to all schemes still have to be met. All applicants have to:
- have no tax debts
- have no health and social security debts
- have no penalty for so-called "illegal employment"
- are not bankrupt, in liquidation or restructuring nor been defined as a “business in difficulty” as of December 2019.
Last but not least, the Government adopted another form of help in the form of waiving the employer's part of social and health contributions from the employee's salaries. Employee's part of contributions is not waived and should be paid within the regular deadlines. Waiver of contributions will apply only to those employers who closed their operations in April for at least 15 days. The announcement of the waiver came, unfortunately, too late to fulfill the 15-days-closure conditions thus employers who did not close last week (or sooner) would not be eligible. The Government can decide on prolonging the waiver for the next months.
The waiver, though, looks very much like Joseph Heller's ‘Catch-22.‘
We will come back with more details as soon as they are revealed.