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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 05.04.2020, 13:23

Covid - 19 Latvia: Around 73,000 employees to receive downtime pay initially

BC, Riga , 24.03.2020.Print version
Initially, downtime pay during the period of the Covid-19 crisis will be provided to around 73,000 employees in transport and logistics, hospitality, tourism and creative industries, according to regulations worked out by the Economics Ministry and adopted by the government on Tuesday, reported LETA.

The regulations have been drawn up in order to define the industries most affected by Covid-19. While they are forced into idling by the crisis, employees in these industries will be eligible to receive 75 percent of their salaries but no more than EUR 700 per month. Previously, politicians said that the list of the affected sectors might be expanded. 

As the authors of the regulation note, citing the Central Statistical Bureau's data, government support might have to be provided to some 17,500 companies employing 73,000 people in total.

The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday also approved regulations on downtime pay to employees affected by the Covid-19 crisis. The downtime support will be paid to the idling employees for two months - from March 14 to May 14, but not beyond the end of the state of emergency. 

To apply for the downtime pay for March 14-31, Covid-19-affected enterprises have to file their applications with the State Revenue Service by April 25. After that, they will have until the 25th day of the following month to apply for an extension. 

The crisis-hit employers will file their applications through the State Revenue Service's Electronic Declaration System (EDS). 

The Revenue Service can decline downtime pay to companies that have not submitted all their tax declarations and annual statements for the last 12 months prior to the state of emergency. 

The downtime payment will not be granted to companies with tax debts of more than EUR 150 and companies that have been paying less than EUR 200 per month in taxes during the last six months. 

Last week, Finance Minister Janis Reirs (New Unity) said in an interview with Delfi TV that up to 150,000 workers could be eligible for downtime pay during the period of the Covid-19 crisis.

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