€102m in benefits to be paid out to employees who've stopped work

The government decision to cover wages for employees seeing downtime during the Covid-19 pandemic will cost about €102m and cover 73,000 employees according to Economics Ministry estimates, reported the LETA news agency March 25. 

This is an initial aid package that could grow substantially if on Thursday the cabinet extends the number of industries covered under the scheme.

The state will pay out a downtime benefit of 75% from the previous wage. The payout will be capped at €700 a month. 

The package is to cost €50.89 million a month and, assuming the emergency situation get extended until May 14, it will cost the state €101.79 million.

Finance Minister Jānis Reirs has previously said downtime compensations could be paid out to about 150,000 employees across Latvia.

Employers will be able to apply for the benefit until April 25 at the State Revenue Service to cover employee downtime from March 14 to 31 and afterwards they'll be able to apply each month until the 25th to cover the costs for the previous month.

On March 24 the Economics Ministry published a list of 40 industries in which employees will receive downtime benefits, including sports, travel, transit, tourism and culture.

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