Unemployment Insurance Fund supports new salary benefit proposal

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

The supervisory board of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has decided to support the government's proposal for a new round of salary support. The fund will also extend the salary support application period, while companies will be free to reclassify support from aid of minor importance to state aid.

The fund will compensate salary expenses for companies that employ people in Harju or Ida-Viru counties and whose business activity was considerably disrupted due to extraordinary circumstances between December 28 and January 31.

Compensation will amount to 1.5 times the firm's salary expenses but no more than €180,000 per company. Self-employed persons will be paid €876.

Applications can be filed in the fund's online environment until March 14.

The supervisory board also discussed the government's proposal for a new round of salary support for companies and their employees hit by new Covid restrictions and found that help is in order. The board will meet to calculate and agree on support details next week.

The application period was extended because the European Commission approved Estonia's rescue plan for Ida-Viru and Harju County companies that also makes it possible for companies to reclassify support from aid of minor importance to state aid. The greatest difference between the two forms of aid is that a company is entitled to aid of minor importance in the maximum amount of €200,000 over three financial years.

A company that wants to reclassify minor aid as state aid needs to fill out a form on the fund's website. The Unemployment Insurance Fund will also send letters with instruction to all supported companies.

Support paid out in under a month amounts to €19.4 million.

The government on Thursday proposed allocating funds for new salary support as compensation for damage to business activity.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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