On Tuesday, 31 March 2020, the Czech Government passed an amended version of the Antivirus Programme. Contributions will be newly provided only in two regimes, again depending on the reason why the employer is unable to assign work to the employee:
This regime applies in situations where the business operation is closed or limited due to emergency measures taken by the Government, Ministry of Public Health or regional Hygiene Station, and in situations where an employee cannot work due to quarantine ordered pursuant to respective legal regulations.
- in case of quarantine – the employee receives wage compensation amounting to 60 % of the reduced average earnings;
- in case of closure of employer or limitation of its operation due to a state pandemic measure – the employee receives wage compensation amounting to 100 % of the average earnings;
The contribution in Regime A shall be 80 % of the wage compensation paid (including social and health insurance contributions) up to a maximumcompensation of CZK 39,000 (approx. EUR 1,500) per employee.
This regime applies in situations where there is an obstacle to work on the employer's part due to related economic difficulties incurred in relation to COVID-19. The reason for such obstacles must be the current pandemic and related measures taken to prevent its spread in the Czech Republic and abroad.
- The inability of the employer to assign work to the employee due to (i) quarantine or (ii) a significant number of employees taking care of a child (30 % or more) – the employee receives wage compensation amounting to 100 % of the average earnings;
- A restriction on the availability of inputs (raw materials, products, services) necessary for the employer's activity – the employee receives wage compensation amounting to 80 % of the average earnings;
- A reduction of the demand for the employer's services or products – the employee receives wage compensation amounting to min. 60 % of the average earnings;
The contribution in Regime B shall be 60 % of the wage compensation paid (including social and health insurance contributions) up to a maximum compensation of CZK 29,000 (approx. EUR 1,120) per employee.
A combination of these cases within one employer might occur; nevertheless, the employer is always obliged to proceed in compliance with the Labour Code. The employer shall indicate in its application (wage billing) at the Czech Labour Office what regime the employee is included in.
Basic conditions for claiming compensation:
- The employees (for the compensation of whose wages the contribution is being applied for) are in an employment relationship and take part in the health and pension insurance system;
- The employer complies with the Labour Code;
- An employee must not be in a notice period or be given notice;
- The employer must pay wages and social insurance contributions, contributions to the state employment policy and public health insurance which have been deducted from the assessment base of this employee;
- The reason why the employer is unable to assign work to the employee is attributable to the COVID-19 infection;
The Antivirus Programme is implemented by the Czech Labour Office. All actions between the employer and the Czech Labour Office must be executed remotely in digital form. The applicant must either have a data box or an authorised electronic signature. The application to conclude an agreement is completed by the applicant through a web application created especially for the purpose of this contribution on the following website www.uradprace.cz. It is anticipated that the web application will be in operation from 6 April 2020.
A contribution to compensate the eligible costs of employers that occurred on 12 March 2020 and afterwards (after the declaration of the state of emergency) may be paid from the Antivirus Programme. The time period determining the eligibility of the costs within the framework of the Antivirus Programme is preliminarily defined as being until 30 April 2020, inclusive, further extension of this date being subject to approval by the Czech Government (presumed to May 2020).
On 2 April 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs published a Manual for Employers in relation to the Antivirus Programme. For further information (in Czech) go to https://www.mpsv.cz/documents/20142/1443715/Manual_Program_Antivirus.pdf/eacabb67-657a-42d3-2279-82ae3280b1fa
Up-to-date information is available on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: https://www.mpsv.cz/web/cz/antivirus