Which of the prepared measures would be most significant for employers?
In connection with the current situation in Slovakia we bring you an overview of the prepared governmental measures to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurs and their employees. Below is a brief overview of the measures that would be most significant for employers.
1. Exemption of wages from social and health contributions and from income tax
The exemption of wages from social and health contributions and from income tax for employees who cannot work because of government measures. The measure is aimed at employers who have had to close down their businesses or have lost orders due to the government’s decision.
2. Simplification of the conditions and procedure for granting aid for job maintenance also for small and medium-sized enterprises
The aid for job maintenance is regulated by Section 50k of the Act on Employment Services.
Currently there is no legal entitlement to the aid. The aid may be granted to an employer who has maintained jobs despite lasting and serious operational reasons specified in a written agreement with the employee representatives. After an agreement with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, the employer will temporarily restrict their business activities in such a way that the employees will not be assigned work in the amount of at least 6% and at most 40% of the specified weekly working time (i.e. the employees will work only 3 days a week).
The monthly amount of the aid is set as 50% of the employee’s wage compensation, but not more than 60% of the average wage of an employee in the Slovak economy for the first to third quarter of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the aid is granted.
The aid is granted for a maximum of 12 months. The aid is granted for the days during which the employee received wage compensation, up to a maximum of 120 days in total, if the agreement on granting the aid was concluded for a period of 12 months. If the agreement was concluded for a shorter period, the total number of days for which the aid is granted is reduced proportionally.
Among the possible measures presented by the Government, the instrument pursuant to Section 53e of the Act on Employment Services may also be considered.
The Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic may grant financial aid to employers that are a small or medium-sized enterprise in the following form to support the maintenance of jobs:
a) guarantee for a loan granted by the bank
b) or in the form of payment of a part of the loan granted by the bank (so-called bonification).
What are small and medium-sized enterprises?
Entrepreneurs who employ fewer than 250 employees, and either:
a) their annual turnover is less than EUR 50 million, or
b) their balance sheet total is less than EUR 43 million.
The companies must have at least three employees, must not be employment agencies, or be active in certain specified areas, such as arms trading.
3. Changes in the conditions for claiming the nursing benefit (care for a family member)
A so-called „special inability to work“ should be introduced. If one parent claims this, he or she is entitled to 80% of the average wage. From the first day, the nursing benefit would be paid by the Social Insurance Company.
If the child has only one parent or if both parents work in the healthcare sector or in 24-hour companies, the introduction of a voucher worth EUR 600 is being considered. The voucher should cover the monthly expenses of a babysitter.
The Social Insurance Company has also informed that, in accordance with the decision of the competent authorities on the closure of schools, it will grant the nursing benefit for the care of a child until the age of 11 even for more than 10 days.
Other planned measures:
• Postponement of the repayment term for instalments of the loan or mortgage loan without a negative note with the debtor in the register,
• Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka will provide short-term loans to selected sectors with simpler rules and conditions. These will be interest-free loans from 10 to 350 thousand euros,
• Money from the Slovak Investment Holding and the European Investment Bank for the support of investments in the private sector,
• Regulation of the possibility of writing off a tax loss, for example, no limits on the time periods would apply (currently, depreciation is evenly spread over 4 consecutive years),
• Deferment for the filing of income tax returns for all taxpayers by three months, until the end of June,
• Complete abolition of payments of social and health contributions of self-employed persons temporarily for a period of three months for March, April, May; these payments would then be spread over another 18 months,
• For a certain period of time, the state would reduce the price of electricity for entrepreneurs and households by financing the tariff amount for the system operation,
• Support a discussion at European level to allow the use of existing European funds to cover losses caused by the crisis, in order to increase flexibility,
• Mitigate the impact on importers of raw materials from third countries by extending the time limit for payment of the customs debt on importation of goods,
• Mitigate the approach to the imposition of sanctions; the state will not sanction companies if they are unable to fulfil a public contract in time, and limitations to controls on companies and contractors.
The measures mentioned are only at the stage of proposals, their adoption and subsequent implementation will depend on the new government.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us
JUDr. Zuzana Chudáčková +421 2 33 10 47 33
Mgr. Marek Laca +421 2 33 10 47 87
Mgr. Ing. Dávid Oršula +421 2 33 10 47 44
Mgr. Róbert Vrablica, LLM +421 2 33 10 47 65
Litigation and public law: JUDr. Martin Provazník + 421 2 33 10 47 70
Mgr. Róbert Vrablica, LLM +421 2 33 10 47 65