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Factsheet for measure SK-2020-40/1629 Updated – measures in Slovakia

Support to self-employed: Measure 2 First aid Plus

Podpora SZČO - Opatrenie 2 Prvá pomoc Plus

Country Slovakia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 October 2020 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
Author Ludovit Cziria (IVPR) and Eurofound
Measure added 28 December 2020 (updated 31 May 2022)

Background information

To respond to the 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the government prolonged the state of emergency since 1 October 2020 and the Public Health Office adopted new preventive measures. They had negative impact on employers and self-employed performing wellness, fitness, sport, cinema, life performance activities, bars, canteens, restaurants and hotels. Most of them temporarily interrupted or significantly reduced their activities this caused a drop in their revenues. This resulted in missing resources to cover their operational costs, including compulsory contributions to insurance funds and particularly wages of their employees or missing income of self-employed. To support concerned employers, self-employed and employees, the government adopted new, modified measures included in the First aid Plus package. Measures are available since 1 October 2020.

Content of measure

The Measure 2 is designed to better support the self-employed suffering from adopted anti-COVID-19 measures. The measure replaces Support to self-employed - First aid Measure 2 .

Self-employed running business no later than 2 September 2020, who had at least a 20% drop in revenue in October 2020 and in the following months, can apply to the labour, social and family office (UPSVaR) for subsidy in a form of fixed sum per month. The measure also covers self-employed running business after 1 February 2020, who were not covered by the previous measure 2. The drop in revenue can be calculated, e.g. by comparison with the same month in 2019, 2019 average or with September 2020. According to the rate of drop in revenues, following subsidies are available:

  • 20% to 39.99% drop: €270 (by €90 more than in the previous Measure 2).
  • 40% to 59.99% drop: €450 (by €150 more).
  • 60% to 79.99% drop: €630 (by €210 more).
  • 80% and more drop: €810 (more by €270).

Updates

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

19 January 2022

The government decided to prolong the availability of the measure in January and February 2022. Self-employed concerned can ask for the support until the end of March 2022. To support self-employed after the pandemic, the government prepared another, not COVID-19 related measure available since 1 March 2022.

01 November 2021

Because the situation in COVID-19 pandemic further worsened, in November and December 2021, the measure 2 was implemented according to the First aid + countrywide and not by regions according to the COVID automat. Self-employed could obtain support according to the decrease in their revenue up to €810 per month.

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 2 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 +.

01 February 2021

Measure 2 in the First aid Plus package was available from 1 October 2020 to 31 January 2021. To increase the support to entrepreneurs, in January 2021 the government decided to modify the Measure 2 in First Aid Plus Plus package. The measure is effective from 1 February to 30 June 2021 and is available for single self-employed, now including those running business from 2 September 2020 to 1 February 2021. The previous scale of drop in revenue by 20% was replaced by 10% rate. From 1 February 2021, following subsidies are available by the rate of drop in revenue:

  • 20-29,99% €330
  • 30-39,99% €420
  • 40-49,99% €510
  • 50-59,99% €600
  • 60-69,99% €690
  • 70-79,99% €780
  • 80% and more €870

Use of measure

Presently, data on the number of recipients of subsidies according to the modified Measure 2 are not available. According to the Institute of Social Policy (ISP) data by 30 November 2020, the use of the previous Measure 2 was stable during July - September 2020 when in average about 23,400 self-employed received a subsidy at €435 monthly average. However, significant increase in its use is expected in November and December 2020. According to the estimations, expenditures for measures 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the First aid Plus project will amount to €389,792,725 in October - December 2020. Next €201,759,248 expenditure is assumed for the period January - March 2021. Expenditures are covered by approved financial limit of €1,382.5 million. Funding is provided from the European Social Fund (SURE) and the state budget.

According to the ISP data published in March 2021, the number of recipients of the measure has been increasing. For instance, in October, it was 39,164 and increased to 42,372 in December. During the validity of measure, total number of subsidised self-employed reached almost 165,000 and the total amount of provided support made €111.409 million. The average monthly subsidy to one self-employed increased, from €624.22 in October 2020 to €744.73 in January 2021.

According to the ISP (June 2021), via Measure 2 First aid Plus, Plus, in January 2021, 64,895 self-employed obtained financial support in the total amount of €47.6 million, and the average sum of provided subsidy per self-employed made €734. Some increase in the number of recipients was reported in February and March. But in April, the number of supported self-employed decreased to 58,238 and the total financial support decreased to €46 million. On the contrary, the average subsidy per self-employed increased to €790.

According to the ISP report (September 2021), in June 2021, the number of recipients decreased to 50,317 in the total amount of €38.7 million and the average sum provided per self-employed slightly increased to €768.7.

According to the ISP (April 2022), in October 2021, support was provided to 37,769 self-employed in the total amount of €16.980 million and the average subsidy per person was about €450 and in December 2021, support concerned already 46,965 self-employed, in total €33.545 million with €714 in average. In January 2022, the number of supported self-employed increased to 49,397, in total almost €35.588 million but in February the number of supported self-employed decreased to 41,098 and the total amount of support to €29.764 million. The average support in January was €720 and €724 in February. From March 2020 to February 2022 the total amount of financial support provided to self-employed via measure 2 reached about €598 million.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
Solo-self-employed
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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 Unknown Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

Social partners were neither consulted at the tripartite Economic and Social Council nor via usual cross-sector commenting procedure. Some employer organisations 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 and First aid Plus Plus package.

Views and reactions

Slovak Crafts Association (SŽZ) criticised the previous Measure 2, which in the most cases, neither covered the compulsory payments to insurance funds. SŽZ welcomes the modified Measure 2, which increases the subsidies to self-employed by about 50%. But it requires more easy application procedures and timely payment of subsidies.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Support to self-employed: Measure 2 First aid Plus, measure SK-2020-40/1629 (measures in Slovakia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SK-2020-40_1629.html

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