Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure CZ-2020-15/454 – Updated – measures in Czechia
|Czechia , applies nationwide
|Temporary, 06 April 2020 – 28 February 2022
|Legislations or other statutory regulations
Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
|Aleš Kroupa (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs)
|10 April 2020 (updated 23 March 2022)
The employment protection programme Antivirus is designed to help companies to protect jobs. The state will compensate companies – through the Labour Office of the Czech Republic – for wages paid out to employees. This measure will help employers better manage the current situation so that they will not have to resort to layoffs. The wage reimbursement is intended for employers who have to cope with restrictions due to COVID-19 crisis resolutions of the Czech government or whose employees are quarantined. There are two models/regimes of reimbursement depending on the reasons for the obstacle to work (see content of measure).
The government has approved the Antivirus programme to compensate employers’ salary costs from 12 March 2020. The applications for wage compensations refunds have been opened since 6 April, 2020 by the Labour Office. The programme was repeatedly extended to 30th April, 31 May, 31 August, 31 October and to 31 December.
The compensation model is based on the German Kurzarbeit model.
Regime A - Forced limitation or closure of business operation and ordered quarantine.
A state contribution under Regime A will amount to 80% of the paid wage compensation, including insurance contributions (max. CZK 39,000 (€1,415) per employee and month).
Regime B - Connected economic difficulties (Obstacles to work on the part of an employer due to the connected economic difficulties because of the spread of the coronavirus).
Depending on the type of obstacle the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 60-100% of the average earnings.
Contribution under Regime B will amount to 60% of the paid wage compensation, including insurance contributions (max. CZK 29,000 (€1052) per employee and month).
Basic subsidy conditions:
As of 12 July 2020, 56,963 companies applied to participate in the Antivirus Program, and wages of 719,256 employees have been supported by the Program. Thus, every fifth company that pays social security contributions for at least one employee has applied to participate in the Program. As of 12 July CZK 14.5 billion has been paid out (of which 40% has been allocated in regime A and 60% in regime B). Enterprises from the three most vulnerable sectors (retail/wholesale, accommodation, catering, hospitality, and manufacturing) submitted 55.7% of their applications. The majority of companies are SMEs.
As of March 22, 2021, 70,928 companies had applied to participate in the antivirus program, and the program supported the salaries of 987,149 employees. As of that date, CZK 34.8 billion was paid out.
As of June 28, 2021, 74,211 companies had applied to participate in the antivirus program, and the program supported the salaries of 1,068,632 employees. As of that date, CZK 48.7 billion was paid out, of which CZK 18.5 billion in 2021.
As of August 2021, a total of 1,073,133 employees had been supported by the Antivirus program.
On average, the MoLSA helped pay almost 4.5 million in wage compensation. For the average supported employee, the MoLSA, therefore, contributed to more than four of his monthly salaries. The Antivirus program thus helped to keep the job more than every 3rd employee (37%) in the private sector. Due to their age, more than 22% of supported employees belonged to the group of employees at risk of unemployment.
The Labor Office concluded a support agreement with every 4th company which, according to the Czech Social Security Administration, pays insurance premiums for its employees (74,278 out of a total of 279,917 companies in the Czech Republic). As part of the concluded agreement, the company could then apply for a contribution to pay wage compensation in individual months. The Antivirus program has mainly supported small and micro-businesses. Specifically, 86% of companies were among 25 employees. Enterprises with 100 or more employees accounted for only 5% of the support. From the sectoral point of view, the supported companies were the most represented companies from the manufacturing industry (17%), from the accommodation, catering, and hospitality.
Employees in standard employment
|Applies to all businesses
|Does not apply to citizens
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Both social partners were consulted.
Eurofound (2020), Antivirus employment retention programme, measure CZ-2020-15/454 (measures in Czechia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/CZ-2020-15_454.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.