10 June, 2020

New measures to maintain employment during the COVID-19

On 29 May 2020, the National Assembly adopted the Intervention Measures to Mitigate and Eliminate the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic Act (hereinafter referred to as: ZIUOOPE), which has been in force since 31 May 2020, and temporary measures apply from 1 June 2020 further. Among other things, the ZIUOOPE contains a measure of partial subsidization for the reduction of full-time work and the reimbursement of salary compensation to workers on temporary lay-off.

The measures are not mutually exclusive, so that in June the employer may send some employees on temporary lay-off and order part-time work for others. Both measures aimed at preserving jobs are presented below.

 

  1. Partial subsidization of full-time work reduction

With this measure, ZIUOOPE offers employers the option of ordering the employees to work part-time while also being on temporary lay-off.

The measure can be exercised by those employers (legal or natural persons) who were entered in the Business Register of Slovenia before 13 March 2020 and, in their estimation, cannot provide at least 90% of work per month to at least 10% of employees. Direct or indirect users of the state budget or the municipal budget whose share of revenues from public sources in 2019 was higher than 50% are not eligible for the subsidy.

An employer who meets the above conditions may order an individual employee with whom he has an employment contract for an indefinite period of time to work part-time during the period between 1 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. According to ZIUOOPE, during this period, the employer must provide the employee with work for at least part-time (i.e. at least 20 hours per week to 35 hours per week). An employee who is temporarily assigned to work part-time retains full-time employment and thus all rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship as if he were working full-time, except for those otherwise regulated by the ZIUOOPE. That time when the employee is not working (i.e. 5 to 20 hours per week) is considered as a temporary lay-off. For the time of the ordered temporary lay-off the employer can claim a partial refund of the salary compensation due to the order of part-time work. The latter is defined by ZIUOOPE as a subsidy.

Subsidies do not depend on the amount of salary of the individual employee, but only on the extent of the reduction in working time. Therefore, for example, the subsidy for part-time work in the range of 20 to 24 hours per week per month amounts to EUR 448 per employee, and for part-time work in the range of 30 to 24 hours per week the subsidy amounts to EUR 224 per month.

The application for subsidizing part-time work is expected to be publicly available on 12 June 2020. The employer must submit the application within fifteen days after the ordering of part-time work.

 

  1. Reimbursement of salary compensation to workers on temporary lay-off

The measure of posting a temporary lay-off and reimbursement of compensation to employees on temporary lay-off was introduced under previously adopted intervention legislation, namely under the provisions of the Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Contain the COVID-19 Epidemic and Mitigate its Consequences for Citizens and the Economy (hereinafter referred to as: ZIUZEOP). The ZIUZEOP initially limited the measure of posting a temporary lay-off and partial reimbursement of salary compensation until 31 May 2020, while ZIUOOPE extended the implementation of this measure until 30 June 2020, provided that certain conditions are met.

Initially, the extension of the measure was intended only for employers in the field of tourism and hospitality, but ZIUOOPE extended this possibility. Thus, the employer whose income in 2020 will fall by more than 10% compared to 2019 due to the epidemic is entitled to state aid in the form of reimbursement of compensation. However, the measure will not be able to be exercised by an employer who is a direct or indirect user of the budget of the Republic of Slovenia or the municipal budget, whose share of revenues from public sources was higher than 70% in 2019, an employer who performs financial or insurance activities and has more than ten employees on 13 March 2020 and foreign diplomatic missions and consulates, international organizations, missions of international organizations and institutions, bodies and agencies of the European Union in the Republic of Slovenia.

The amount of partial reimbursement of salary compensation paid by the Employment Service of Slovenia amounts to 80% of salary compensation and is limited by the maximum amount of cash benefit in the event of unemployment, which amounts to EUR 892.50. At the time of receiving the compensation, the employer may not dismiss the employee who is included in the measure.

The application for reimbursement of salary compensation to workers on temporary lay-off is already publicly available, and the employer must submit it within eight days of the posting of the worker on temporary lay-off.

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