ZAGREB, March 24 (Hina) – The Croatian Ministry of Labour and Pension System informed on Tuesday that so far 7,400 employers with 40,000 workers had applied for the government minimum wage scheme whereby HRK 3,250 will be paid for each employee as a support to businesses hit by the crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Payments will start at the end of the week, Minister Josip Aladrovic said at a news conference.
The Finance Ministry has secured about HRK 5 billion (€666 million) for this measure, said Aladrovic.
Covering the amount of the minimum wage for each employee is one of the measures to help the economy and Aladrovic underscored that the measures issued by his ministry are earmarked at saving jobs in those businesses affected by the spread of the coronavirus.
The measures apply to the period from 1 March to 31 May, that is, three months and the amount of support is HRK 3,250 per employee, Aladrovic told the press conference in Government House.
The target group encompassed by the measures are employers in tourism and hospitality, transport and storage, labour intensive industries, and health tourism.
“They are the branches affected the hardest by coronavirus,” Aladrovic said and added that other sectors that feel the consequences of the crisis will be included.
Employers whose business operations have been halted due to the decisions by the National Civil Protection Authority will be automatically included in this measure.
He underscored that the desire is to make sure that micro businesses with up to ten employees can recover.
The criteria and application processes were defined late last week by the Croatian Employment Service.
The criteria are quite broad but it is primarily important to describe the reason for applying for support to preserve jobs and to back that up with proof, he said.
According to data that he presented, more than 80% of applications were submitted online and about 300 public servants in the employment services have been engaged to deal with those applications.
A contact centre has also been established where employers and employees can enquire about the measures.
Aladrovic expects payments to be paid starting with the end of the week and that they should all be paid by April 15.