Insider Business Support scheme for workers to be expanded

Support scheme for workers to be expanded

More businesses will be able to benefit from government schemes that allow employees to claim special unemployment allowances because of lower turnover resulting from the coronavirus lockdown, Eleftheria Paisanou reports for Phileleftheros.

Citing sources, the paper said that the Labour Ministry has expanded the list so as to protect more jobs, given that participation in the scheme prohibits companies from dismissals until October 12.

The plan is to include insurance agents who are not receiving commission from existing contracts and whose income depends on new contracts.

Dental technicians, physiotherapists, vets, some specialties of doctors and dairy producers will also be able to sign up, it added.

Labour MInister Zeta Emilianidou is expected to submit her proposal to cabinet today with 10 corrective measures on calculating and paying the allowances, as well as the additional companies that can join the schemes from April 13 to June 12.

The issue was discussed extensively by the minister with social partners.

It was also clarified that some businesses that were believed to be excluded from the schemes can do so. These include food suppliers such as bakeries, butchers, fruit shops and companies that supply hotels and restaurants which have been closed as a result of the lockdown.

Second chance

Meanwhile companies that made dismissals at the start of the crisis will be given a second chance to join the schemes, provided they reinstate the affected employees.

They can then submit their applications by Sunday so that they can benefit from the scheme for the March 16 to April 12 period.

In a circular, the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB) called on all its members who wish to do so and are allowed to join the scheme to do so by the deadline of April 26.

How much support the state will offer for June to October was not clarified during the teleconference with the minister assuring that this would depend on the recovery of the business.

Trade unions told the minister they have received complaints of violations of the collective agreement and the unilateral reductions in wages.

They also urged the minister to step up checks of undeclared labour as a number of affected employees received less money.

By Eleftheria Paisanou

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