STA, 30 September 2020 - The government gave its final nod late on Tuesday to the fifth stimulus package designed to help alleviate the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The government already endorsed the package last week, albeit the bill had not yet been finalised.
The press release issued by the government after a correspondence session late last night indicated no major changes to the previous version of the bill.
This comes a week after trade unions protested that the bill had not been coordinated with them. Meanwhile, employers expressed satisfaction with the measures planned.
Filed into procedure by the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the bill entails measures for healthcare, labour, social security, economy, education, justice, criminal sanctions, agriculture and infrastructure.
Above all, the bill is to extend the crisis measures for businesses, such as furlough funding and 100% pay compensation for those ordered to quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus positive person at their workplace.
The furlough funding has been extended until the end of the year but is now tied to more restrictions.
Meanwhile, sole proprietors and micro companies will once again be eligible to monthly income compensation, the press release said.
The bill will also allow temporary staff reshuffles at elderly nursing homes to help the homes cope in case of outbreaks, and introduce an additional bonus for staff, among other things.
To lessen the workload of GPs, the bill introduces the option of sick leave of up to three days without a visit to the doctor.
Moreover, the bill also ensures funding for personal protective equipment and sanitation in schools and preschools, while parents of children in quarantine will receive a lower preschool bill.