ECONOMY

Labor subsidy program gets further boost

labor-subsidy-program-gets-further-boost

The ministers of finance and labor submitted an amendment Wednesday which provides that the state will not only cover 60 percent of the salary lost by workers whose working hours were reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also 60 percent of employers’ insurance contributions for employees who have been included in the labor subsidy program.

The government’s decision for the state to also subsidize these insurance contributions is estimated to cost an additional 190 million euros.

The subsidization of contributions, which is expected to be voted through Parliament imminently, will take effect on June 15 and last until the end of July.

With this new amendment, the labor subsidy program’s budget is now expected to exceed 1 billion euros. 

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras declared that the government is carrying out a dynamic and forward-looking plan – which also included Wednesday’s bond issue – that will allow it to cope with the costs.

Moreover, earlier this month, the Finance Ministry signed the loan agreement for the European program SURE, which will help finance the labor subsidy program.

According to Staikouras, the government will continue to use all available tools, means and resources to minimize the impact of the health crisis on employment.

For his part, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis referred to the government’s efforts to create additional incentives for businesses to maintain or even increase job numbers.

By covering 60 percent of employers’ insurance contributions, he stressed, the labor subsidy program becomes more attractive and favorable for businesses.