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Database of national-level policy measures

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 SK-2020-40/1593 Updated – measures in Slovakia

Support for employers of compulsory closed facilities. Measure 1 First aid Plus

Podpora zamestnávateľov povinne uzavretých zariadení. Opatrenie 1 Prvá pomoc Plu

Country Slovakia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 October 2020 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Rastislav Bednarik (IVPR)
Measure added 10 December 2020 (updated 31 May 2022)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

COVID-19 persists in Slovakia even in autumn 2020 and the perspective of the epidemiological situation is negative. The government has therefore again declared the state of emergency (since 1 October 2020) and measures to close or restrict the operation of some facilities have been introduced. For these reasons, the government wants to continue in provision of financial compensation to affected employers and self-employed. The aim of the First Aid Plus scheme is to make adjustments to the conditions of the First Aid scheme from the first spring wave of the pandemic, which will already apply to applications submitted for October 2020, as well as to further extension of implementation of the project from January to March 2021. Measure 1 of the First Aid Plus scheme concerns the provision of support when facilities had to be closed. The measure replaced the previous measure SK-2020-13/291 .

Content of measure

The Measure 1, as opposed to the previous spring 2020 scheme, extends the target group of employees to those who were recruited after 1 March 2020, but no later than 2 September 2020. The measure replaces the previous measure SK-2020-13/291 . Eligible applicants are entities that were established and started their activities after 1 February 2020, but no later than 2 September 2020. The amount of support increases from the current 80% of the employee's average earnings to 80% of the monthly labour cost of an employee (includes social and health insurance contributions paid by employers for employees), up to a maximum of €1,100. At the same time, the period of compulsory retention of an employee in employment is reduced from two to one month during the declared state of emergency. The support shall be provided to the applicant without delay on the basis of the Agreement on the provision of a financial contribution. The contribution will be provided by the local competent labour office in whose territorial district the applicant will keep the jobs.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 April 2022

The government decided to prolong the availability of the measure and it is available also in January and February 2022. Employers concerned can ask for the support according to the measure until the end of April 2022. Since 1 May 2022 a new universal, not COVID-19 related measure Skrátená práca (Kurzarbeit) is available for employers

24 November 2021

Employers may continue to apply for a contribution for employees who took up employment on 1 October 2021 at the latest. Those entities which started their activities after 1 February 2021, but no later than 1 October 2021, may also apply for contributions. Due to worsened pandemic situation, since 1 November 2021 the Measure was applied according to the First aid plus scheme

01 July 2021

From 1 July to 31 December 2021, the measure will be applied by regions according to the outcomes of Slovak alert system called COVID automat. Individual regions/districts will be denoted by colours according to the 7-day incidence of COVID-19 disease and ratio of vaccination: burgundy colour and black means highest levels of threat, red means lower level of threat, orange means alertness level and green means only monitoring level).

Measure 1 according to the specification in the First aid ++ package will be available in burgundy colour and black regions. In red and orange regions, the measure will be available according to specification in First aid +.

02 February 2021

Measures in the First did not provide sufficient support during the continuing pandemic. Therefore, the Government adopted a new aid package – First aid Plus Plus (Government resolution no. 72/2021 as of 2 February 2021) and the period of application is extended to 30 June 2021.

Updated Measure 1 in the First aid Plus Plus increases the amount of the subsidy to maintain jobs from 80% to 100% of the total labour cost, including compulsory contributions to insurance funds but a €1,100 per worker as a maximum and up to a total of €1.6 million per company (applications submitted for February 2021 and the following months). If the limit is exceeded, it will be possible to continue receiving a contribution of 80% of the total labour cost (a condition resulting from the Temporary framework for state aid measures to support the economy in the current situation caused by the COVID-19 disease).

The measure may also be used by companies that started their activities after 2 September 2020, but no later than 1 February 2021.

Use of measure

According to the estimation, the expenditure for measures 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the First aid Plus project from October to December 2020 will amount to €389,792,725. The extension of implementation of the project for next three months (from January to March 2021) assumes €201,759,248 expenditure. These expenditures are covered by approved financial limit of €1.3825 billion (Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 219 of 14 April 2020). Funds are provided from the European Social Fund (SURE) and the state budget of the Slovak Republic.

According to ISP (March 2021), from October 2020 to January 2021, in average 1,270 companies per month use the Measure 1 in the First aid Plus in the total amount of subsidies €7.904 million. In October 3,736 employees were supported (in average €345 per employee), in November it was 5,356 employees (average €339) and in December it was 8,689 employees (average €352), in January 2021 it was 7,055 employees (average €672 per employee).

According to the Institute of Social Policy (June 2021), via Measure 1 in January, February and March 2021, more than 3,000 companies with more than 17,000 employees were supported each month, totaling more than €40 million (when the average support per worker was in January €676, in February €819 and in March €892). In April 2021, the number of supported companies decreased to 1,736 with 11,095 supported employees in the total amount of €5.089 million (on average €459 per employee). Subsequently the number of supported entities decreased, as well as the number of supported employees in these entities and also the total financial amount of aid. In May 2021, the state supported 587 entities in this area, in June 180 and in July only 48 entities. Appropriately, in May 2021, 2,149 employees were supported in the amount of €1,310,941, in June 2021, 874 employees were supported in the amount of €431,799, and in July 2021, the state supported 770 employees in the amount of €131,385; mainly from sectors C (Manufacturing), G (Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, I (Accommodation and food service activities) and R (Arts, entertainment and recreation). As part of Measure No. 1 in the “First Aid” scheme, a total of 251,461 monthly benefits in the amount of €116.773 million were supported as of 23 November 2021. Based on the resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic, contributions in the increased form of First Aid Plus were paid in November and December 2021.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Public support service providers
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level

Involvement

Social partners were neither consulted at the tripartite Economic and Social Council nor via usual Cross-sector commenting procedure. Social partners criticised this approach of the government. Some national level employers, e.g. AZZZ SR and APZ, individually submitted their proposals how to improve measures in the existing First aid package. No information is available about participation of trade unions in the preparation of the modified Measure 2 in the First aid Plus package.

Views and reactions

According to the AZZZ SR, some of their proposals were implemented in modified measures included in the First aid Plus package. For instance, to increase the maximum subsidy to employers from €880 to €1,100, implemented in modified Measure 1 and 3. Nevertheless, according to employers as well as trade unions implementation of the modified measures should be more easy and effective, particularly the application procedure and timely payment of subsidies.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Support for employers of compulsory closed facilities. Measure 1 First aid Plus, measure SK-2020-40/1593 (measures in Slovakia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SK-2020-40_1593.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.