(NW) Social Partners Agree on Changes in Two Government Ordinances, Extending Crisis Relief Measures for Businesses and Workers

December 29 (BTA) – The tripartite partners (government, employers, unions) Tuesday approved changes to two government ordinances, extending until the end of March 2021 crisis-relief measures for businesses and workers. The changes were approved during an emergency online meeting held on the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy Mariyana Nikolova, said the Government Information Service. One of the changes extends the 60/40 job retention scheme whereby the government pays 60 per cent of the wage costs for workers threatened with furlough or job loss. The aid will be paid to employees who during the period from March 13 to December 21, 2020, worked shorter hours, were forced into unpaid leave or had their work suspended by COVID-related restrictions. The money will come from the budget of the National Social Security Institute. The other ordinance where changes were approved by the social partners, provides for the payment of 24 leva daily compensation to workers who have been forced to take unpaid leave due to the coronavirus pandemic. By the approved changes, from the beginning of 2021 furloughed workers with a contract of employment for a 8-hour work day will be entitled to 75 per cent of their contributory income for October 2020. For those working shorter work days, the compensation will be proportional to the work time in their contract of employment. This measure will be in effect until March 31, 2021, and the compensation shall be payable for no more than 60 days of unpaid leave. The money will come from the EU-funded Operational Programme Human Resources Development via the REACT-EU mechanism. RI/LN/ /ДЛ/