Compensation for Wages and Salaries provided by the State
The Antivirus employment protection programme introduced by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is designed to help companies protect jobs. If companies meet the programme conditions, the state reimburses their wage expenses, helping them to better overcome the difficulties caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic and to prevent laying off, at least to a certain extent.
The Antivirus programme currently applies to a period until the end of October 2020; however, the government is currently considering extending it or adopting additional measures for employment protection.
What are the individual regimes of the Antivirus programme?
Antivirus A and B
These two regimes compensate expenses to employers who had to send their employees into quarantine or who had to limit their operations fully or partially, for example, due to a decreased demand for their products or services. The reason for the extension is mainly the current epidemiologic situation as well as the emergency government measures still in place that continue to greatly affect certain employers. Employers can continue to apply for the contribution under both regimes at the Labour Office.
Regime A – forced limiting of operations and quarantine
Regime A applies to the suspension or limitation of operations due to crisis measures or quarantine being ordered by a relevant authority. The contribution amounts to 80% of the paid wage compensation including health insurance and social security contributions (a maximum of CZK 39,000), provided that the following conditions have been met:
- in case of quarantine, the employee receives a wage compensation in the amount of 60% of their average reduced earnings;
- in case of a suspension of operations due to a government decree, the employee receives a wage compensation in the amount of 100% of their average earnings.
Regime B – related economic difficulties
The contributions under this regime should compensate for the expenses related to the paid wage compensation due to obstacles at work on the part of the employer as a result of the related economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The contribution amount is 60% of the paid wage compensation including contributions (a maximum of CZK 29,000), provided that the following conditions have been met:
- in case of obstacles at work (quarantine or childcare) on the part of the employer affecting a large share of employees (30% or more), the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 100% of average earnings;
- in case of limited availability of resources (materials, products, services) necessary for the employer’s operations, the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 80% of average earnings;
- in case of limited demand for services and products of the employer, the employee receives a wage compensation amounting to 60% of average earnings.
In June, a third regime of the Antivirus programme was approved (Regime C), which consists in the remission of social security contributions. Unlike Regimes A and B, it only applies to employers with up to 50 employees and can be utilised for June, July and August 2020 for employees in an employment relationship.
What is the scope of the remitted contributions?
What will be remitted is the part of insurance premium that the employer pays as an insurance premium payer in the amount of 24.8% of their assessment basis. However, it is not possible to deduct an assessment basis greater than CZK 52,252 for individual employees. The employer is still obliged to pay insurance premium for employees in the amount of 6.5% of the assessment basis.
Which conditions does the employer have to meet?
To participate in this Antivirus regime, the employer must not employ more than 50 employees in an employment relationship that are involved in the sickness insurance scheme as of the last day of the month (this includes employees on maternity or parental leave or employees on a compensatory leave). At the same time, the number of employees must not drop by more than 10% compared to the number as of 31 March 2020 and the aggregate assessment bases of employees in an employment relationship for an individual month must not drop by more than 10% compared to the same data for March 2020.