Unemployment Insurance Fund to send wage compensation bill to government

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Peep Peterson. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Unemployment Insurance Fund's (töötukassa) council's chairman Peep Peterson has said the council will gather on Thursday (March 4) to specify the sectors which need compensation in March. The draft legislation will then go directly to the government for approval on the same day.

"We have submitted two packages to the government before. One of them was that the situation will get worse and the economy needs to be closed. The second and more realistic package was targeted to the areas that were most restricted due to the crisis, for example, tourism companies. We will specify the circle of the sectors and will send draft legislation to the government's meeting," Peterson explained on ETV's morning program "Terevisioon" on Thursday.

Peterson said that, alongside tourism, the culture sector has been severely hit. "For example, cinemas and film distributors. We are restricting one sector - that the cinemas close their doors - but another company is supplying them. And the same goes for tourism."

He said the fund's resources are limited, which is why they are operating differently from last spring. But the principle is the same - to help the sectors in need.

"The Unemployment Insurance Fund is working so people do not lose their jobs. It is easier to pay their salary of a couple of months than for people to lose their jobs for a longer time period."

This time, the fund will pay the compensation directly to the employer, not the employee to ensure faster movement of money.

"April 1 is currently the deadline for submitting the applications. The money is moving within a couple of days. By April 10 at the latest, but it is likely to arrive in 2-3 working days."

Peterson said that the employers are used to the scheme. "If you have lost 50 percent of your turnover during the last three months, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will compensate 60 percent of it, but not over €1,000."

If the restrictions were to continue and the measures are extended, then the government's financial support is needed, Peterson said. For this, he supports making a supplementary budget.

Peterson said he does not believe people are taking advantage of the wage compensation scheme.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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