Unemployment Insurance Fund accepting employer wage support applications ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund's (Töötukassa) logo.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund's (Töötukassa) logo. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) started accepting applications on Monday for part-compensation of wages, from employers in difficulty as a result of the coronavirus crisis. By 1 p.m., 770 companies had submitted applications.

CEO of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Meelis Paavel noted that the compensation is only for those employers whose business has been significantly disrupted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the emergency situation declared by the government, and the economic effects of the crisis.

"Compensation of remuneration for work is designed to help employers survive temporary difficulties, so that they won't have to make employees redundant or go out of business," Paavel said, BNS reports.

Unemployment Insurance Fund coronavirus compensation facts

  • The unemployment fund is to compensate 70 percent of an employee's average wage, to a maximum of €1,000 a month, and a minimum of the current minimum wage level (currently €584 per month).
  • The employer must themselves pay employees receiving unemployment fund support a minimum €150 gross per month, which must be paid out before an application is filed.
  • The unemployment insurance scheme runs for up to two calendar months; applications must be filed for each month separately. 
  • The employer or other authorized person must file the application.
  • Compensation will be paid into an employee's bank account.
  • An employer must meet two out of three conditions: 1) The company's turnover or revenue must have decreased at least 30 percent on year, as a result of the pandemic; 2) the company cannot provide the contracted volume of work to at least 30 percent of its employees; 3) workers' wages have fallen by at least 30 percent or to the minimum wage level.
  • If an employer terminates an employment relationship with the employee through redundancy in the same calendar month, or the following calendar month, the compensation was sought for, the employer must refund the paid compensation to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

"A reduction in turnover, for instance, is proven by a taxation data certificate; a reduction in cash flows is proven by the cash flow statement or other accounting document," said Erik Aas, Unemployment Insurance Fund board member, according to BNS.

"Work not provided, or a reduction in remuneration, must be proven by the employer via a document demonstrating employees have been notified of the same," Aas went on.

An employee's data along with proof that the employer has paid there required share (see above) must also be provided, BNS reports.

"We have tested our information systems in order for us to be able to accept as many applications as possible and for the procedure to be as fast as possible," Erik Aas said.

Applications are processed in the order they are received, and the final decision will be sent to both the employer and the employee. If no additional documentation is required, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will pay out wage compensation within five calendar days of receipt of the application, BNS reports.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund's website is here.

More than 770 companies apply by 1 p.m.

On Monday approximately 770 companies had submitted their applications by 1 p.m. to claim wage relief for workers.

The companies that have already submitted applications have requested wage compensation for 3,600 employees, Lauri Kool,  chief specialist at the communications department of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, told daily newspaper Postimees.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Helen Wright

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