Cabinet Decrees Procedure for Payment of Job Security Compensations to Employers, Applications to Be Accepted from March 31

Sofia, March 30 (BTA) - At an extraordinary meeting here on
Monday, held by video conference, Bulgaria's Council of
Ministers adopted a decree establishing the terms and procedure
for the payment of compensations to employers for the purpose of
 keeping their staff employed under the state of emergency
declared by a National Assembly resolution on March 13, 2020.

The compensation amounts to 60 per cent of the contributory
income for January 2020 and is for the benefit of each employee
who is laid off or transferred to reduced working hours. In the
latter case, the compensation will be proportionate to the hours
 not worked, but no more than four hours. 

Speaking at a Monday briefing at the Council of Ministers while
presenting the Decree on Payment of Compensations under the
Scheme for Preserving Jobs, Labour and Social Policy Minister
Denitsa Sacheva said that applications for compensations under
the 60/40 scheme can be submitted as of Tuesday, adding that the
 first ones to have access will be the companies from sectors
directly suffering from the restrictions ordered by the Health

These include the following: retail trade (not including trade
with motor vehicles and motorcycles), land transport, passenger
and air transport, hotelier business, as well as restaurant and
fast food catering, operation of bars, movie screening, travel
agencies, organization of congresses and trade fairs, pre-school
 education (mainly private kindergartens), artistic activity and
 others in the sphere of culture, sports and recreation

Within seven days of application, the applicants will receive
the respective resolutions, followed by a transfer of funds from
 the Unemployment Fund within another five days.

The second part of the Decree includes all other economic
sectors. These should attest with financial documents at least a
 20 per cent decline of revenue. Turnover from March this year
will be compared to that of March 2019. A special procedure has
been provided for companies established after March 2019, to
prove the decline of revenue from sales.

The labour contracts of employees who make it eligible to apply
for compensation should have been concluded before the date when
 extraordinary measures were declared, March 13, Sacheva said.

The procedure is as fast as possible, it will be online through
the labour exchanges and there will also be a public register of
 the companies that have received funds, posted on the National
Social Security Institute's website.

Several sectors have been excluded from the Decree: agriculture,
 forestry and fishery, financial and insurance activities,
humane health care and social work. The sector of education has
also been excluded, but private kindergartens can apply under
the Decree.

Taking a question, Sacheva said it is difficult to forecast how
many workers will be covered by the Decree. The Annex alone
envisages 289,000 for the time being and those will require 135
million leva a month, she added.

In turn, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said the decision of
 Parliament to raise all pensions as of July 1, 2020, including
those from before December 31, 2019, is not being discussed. The
 decision for a 6.7 per cent raise was passed in December last

According to Goranov there are no current plans for reducing
salaries received from the state budget. However, partial
measures may be taken for administrations that are not leading,
Goranov added./NV/BR

Source: Sofia