More than €231 million approved for wage compensation so far ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) office.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) office. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

As of Sunday, June 28, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has assigned €231.5 million in extraordinary remuneration compensation related to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis for the months of March, April and May. The fund will start accepting applications for June compensation from July 1.

The compensation has been assigned to 136,682 employees of 17,456 companies. The largest share of the recipients, 24.6 percent, are employees of the manufacturing industry. The total cost of compensation granted to this sector is €58.6 million, it appears from data available from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Altogether 20.3 percent of the recipients work in wholesale and retail trade and car repair companies, followed by the accommodation and catering sector with 13 percent. The total cost of benefits allocated to these sectors is €45.3 million and €26 million, respectively.

Since the start of the application for compensation in March, the largest amount has been assigned to 1,824 employees of Hansaliin, a member of the Tallink Grupp, with a total cost of €4.27 million. The company offers the service of ship service personnel.

A salary compensation of €1.84 million has been granted to 848 employees of Enefit Kaevandused. Altogether €1.79 million has been allocated to the 870 employees of the industrial company Norma.

A total of 526 employees of the transport company Bolt Technology have been granted compensation in the amount of €1.37 million for three months.

Compensation of €1.33 million has been granted to 523 employees of HT Laevateenindus, which belongs to Tallink Grupp, and €1.32 million to 555 employees of AS Postimees Grupp.

The 640 employees of bed textile manufacturer Wendre have received €1.26 million in salary compensation, while the 516 employees of the modular house manufacturer Harmet have received €1.2 million in support.

Compensation totalling €1.09 million has been granted to 465 employees of Tallink Grupp and in the sum of €1.03 million to 412 employees of the Estonian National Opera. The total cost of compensation for other institutions is less than €1 million.

Applications for extraordinary wage compensation for the month of June can be submitted from July 1. The subsidy is paid for June when an employer has suffered at least a 50 percent decline in turnover or revenue as compared to the month of June last year.

The employer is eligible for compensation if they are not able to provide at least 50 percent of their employees with work and the work load of the employees has been cut by at least 30 percent.

Eligible employers must have cut the wages of at least 50 percent of employees by at least 30 percent or down to the minimum wage.

The employer must have cut the wages or work load of their employees for the whole month of June.

The amount of the subsidy will be 50 percent of the average monthly wage of the employee. The maximum amount of the subsidy is €800.

In addition to that, the employer must pay a wage of at least €150 to the employee. The employee will receive at least the minimum wage of €584 from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and their employer, collectively. The employer must make their payment before applying for the subsidy.

Only employers without tax debt or paying their tax debt in installments as agreed with the Tax and Customs Board can apply to have the June salaries of their employees subsidized. An employer can apply for the salaries of contracted employees to be subsidized on the condition that the contract was signed before March 1, 2020.

If the employer terminates the contract with the employee due to redundancy in June or in the course of two following calendar months, the subsidy is to be returned to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

In July, employers may apply to have the June salaries subsidized for the same employees whose salaries were subsidized in March, April or May. Thus, an employee's salary may be subsidized for a maximum of three months instead of two.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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