Downtime aid measures approved by Latvian government

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On November 10, the Cabinet approved the decision to introduce downtime benefits of up to €1,000 and subsidize up to €500 of the salaries for employees at companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The subsidy for employees is planned at a rate of 70% of the three-month (August, September, October) average salary declared by the company. Subsidies will be paid to the employee (employed, self-employed and patent payers). The subsidy will have a minimum amount of €330 and a maximum of €1,000. A further €50 is expected to be paid for each dependent person in the employee's care.

The Ministry of Economics rules provide that the aid to be paid to employees must not exceed 80% of the gross salary.

Entrepreneurs will receive aid for subsidizing employees' salaries at 50% of the three-month (August, September, October) average wages declared by the company. The amount of aid will be up to €500 per employee.

In order to provide aid to merchants for the provision of working capital, companies will have access to a working capital subsidy of 30% of the three-month salaries (August, September, October) for which salary taxes have been paid. The subsidy will be paid to the company.

The aid will be received by undertakings whose activities are affected and restricted by the Cabinet decision on the announcement of the state of emergency and which are experiencing a drop in turnover in relation to the state of emergency of 20% against the average (August, September, October). The duration of the aid measures is from the first day of the emergency to 31 December of this year.

Economics Ministry's estimates show that 134 119 employees could qualify for aid. €65 million will be channeled to these benefits. Workers' wage subsidies could also be needed for 134 119 employees, with at least €20 million being channeled.

The government's decision will be directed to the Saeima for further approval.

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