STA, 21 May - The third emergency law designed to mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic is worth approximately EUR 1 billion and the government would like it to take effect on 1 June. Most of the funds will subsidise short-time work and roughly a third of the money is for tourist vouchers. Below is a short review of the measures it brings.
SHORT-WORK SUBSIDIES SCHEME
If an employee's work week (the standard is 40 hours) is shortened, the government will provide funds to pay them a wage compensation for the partial idling, but only from five to 20 hours per week.
Firms set up before 13 March 2020 (first day of epidemic) that will are unable to provide at least 90% of the workload for at least 10% of their workers are eligible.
Firms which receive more than 50% of funds directly or indirectly from the state or municipal budgets cannot apply.
The employer taking part in the scheme is obliged not to lay off the workers partly idled or a lager number of other workers while taking part in the scheme and also a month after it.
The measure will be in place from 1 June to 31 December.
PARTIAL WAGE COMPENSATION FOR IDLED WORKERS
For idled workers, companies will get funds for 80% of the unemployment benefit they would be entitled to if jobless, but not more than the highest possible unemployment benefit.
The measure will apply only to employers whose main line of business is tourism or hospitality and to farms which are also engaged in activities beyond pure farming, for example tourism farms.
The measure also covers venues for cultural events, gaming, as well as inter-city and other road transport.
To be eligible, a company's revenue in 2020 must be by more than 10% lower due to the epidemic than it was in 2019.
The measure will be in place until the end of June.
Those who had permanent residence in Slovenia on 13 March 2020 will get a tourist voucher to spend on accommodation in Slovenia.
Those born in 2002 at the latest will receive a EUR 200 voucher, minors will get EUR 50 vouchers.
Companies providing accommodation such as hotels and other holiday facilities, including camping sites, will be eligible to accept the vouchers, which will be valid until the end of 2020.
Financial incentives in the form of grants and loans to co-finance the loss of income in tourism and hospitality, provide support for manufacturing in the affected border areas, encourage digitalisation of companies and to invest in development projects.
Micro, small and medium-sized companies which are entitled to state aid, and large companies affected by the pandemic will be eligible.
RELAXED CONDITIONS FOR INVESTMENT INCENTIVES
In line with the law on the promotion of investments, the value of the investment for which a state incentive can be granted remains EUR 1 million for manufacturing and EUR 500,000 for services and R&D, but the number of jobs the investment has to bring three years after completion will be lowered.
Investors investing in Slovenia will be eligible.
The measure will be in place until 30 June 2021.
VARIOUS OTHER MEASURES
- Financial engineering measures to finance companies in the road transport industry for which the state will allocate EUR 10 million in 2020 and the state-owned SID Bank EUR 25 million.
- Financial aid for managers of ski lifts, ranging from EUR 1,000 to EUR 12,200 per lift.
- Valid contracts and agreements on coach transport that could not be partially or fully provided during the epidemic can be extended until September 2021 without a public tender.
- The Farmland and Forest Fund may write off or reduce the compensation for building title, and reduce the prices of farmland it has leased out, until the end of 2020. The fund can gratuitously lease out farmland at risk of spontaneous afforestation for 10 years.
- Relaxation of requirements for building greenhouses on lower-value farmland, priority treatment of requests for the exploitation of geothermal energy in greenhouses.
- Permits for seasonal work in agriculture may be extended to 150 days.
- A wage compensation for disabled workers will rise by 10% of the minimum wage.
- Organisers of sport events will receive a voucher corresponding to the price of a ticket for an event they could not carry out due to the pandemic.
- Members of Civil Protection and others helping in the anti-coronavirus efforts will get a EUR 30 daily allowance for working in hazardous conditions.