How to deal with a reduction of business during COVID-19 pandemic? How can I save on wage expenses? Is there any help from the state?
The employers can consider one of the following options:
a) To analyse the legality of the employment “contract”
Not all people “working” for employers have an employment contract for an indefinite period of time. Some of them might be business entrepreneurs (freelancers), some might have employment contracts for specific period of time, some might be in a trial period, and some might have agreements for works performed outside of an employment relationship. With all these aforementioned groups, it is easier to terminate the relationship.
b) Support employees to use the opportunity to stay at home with children
The state has closed schools since 11th March 2020, and shall pay employees who stay at home with their children (nursing) until the end of June. In light of this, it highly recommended for employers to support their employees in utilizing this opportunity and stay at home with their children. In such a case, employees are paid by the state and not by the employer.
c) Direct employees to take their remaining days of paid leave
The employer is the one who decides when employees take their paid leave. Nevertheless, it has some conditions- the leave must be assigned 14 days in advance, and the employer must take into account the employer’s operational conditions and individual employees’ justified interests. It is obviously possible to assign part of the paid leave, but it might be disputable to assign the entire paid leave in this way.
d) Change the work schedule
The employer can implement changes in work schedule to put lesser number of shifts during critical months (May, June), and on the other hand impose more shifts during later months like August etc.
e) Use temporary layoffs and apply for the state contribution
If the employer does not have any work for the employees, or has only limited work, they can ask employee to stay at home and pay them between 60 % to 100 % of the wage compensation based on the reason. In such cases it is possible to apply for state contribution from the Antivirus program; according to which the state pays 80% of wage expenses to employers who were forced to temporarily close down due to the state measures, and 60% of the wage expenses to employers who had partial unemployment due to the economic reasons, typically lessening of the demand.