The spread of coronavirus across the Czech Republic has not slowed down – quite to the contrary. The government is responding by extending (and making tweaks to) its compensation package for employers known as the Antivirus program.
In connection with the continuing pandemic of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which, in the form of the disease known as COVID-19, not only attacks the health and wellbeing of individuals but also the purses of employers, the Czech government has decided to extend the time period during which expenses may be claimed under its Antivirus program (which comes in two flavors – A and B), and to make certain adjustments to the terms of eligibility.
Under regime A, expenses may now be claimed until 31 December 2020. Antivirus A offers the prospect of compensation from the public budget to employers who need to finance substitute pay for employees within the meaning of Sec. 192 of the Labor Code for the period from October through December 2020, because of the imposition of mandatory quarantine. The maximum amount of this government subsidy continues to be 80% of the eligible costs, i.e., the paid substitute salary including mandatory social security and health insurance contributions, but no more than CZK 39,000 per employee and month.
In addition, an "Antivirus plus" (A plus) regime has been adopted to cover employers who had to suspend operations after 1 October 2020, or whose business is severely restricted due to crisis measures or extraordinary measures handed down by the Health Ministry or the public-health authorities (disease control and prevention centers). The amount of compensation paid out under this special regime is 100% of the substitute pay (including mandatory contributions), but in any case no more than CZK 50,000 per employee and month. Compensation will only be granted for substitute salary payments on grounds of a work obstacle on the part of the employer within the meaning of Sec. 208 of the Labor Code. This compensation may be available to restaurants and bars (irrespective of whether they closed down altogether or run a very limited take-away service), and to retailers and service providers who are not eligible for any of the exemptions under government decree No. 1079 of 21 October 2020.
The time period for claiming expenses under regime B has also been extended until 31 December 2020, on unchanged terms, i.e., the max. compensation is 60% of the eligible expenses but no more than CZK 29,000 per employee and month. Eligible expenses are substitute salary payments by the employer within the meaning of Sec. 207 - 209 of the Labor Code, including social security and health insurance contributions.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has promised to issue a new version of the "Manual" as soon as possible – i.e., the official guidance which lays down the terms on which one may draw on government support under the Antivirus program. The new version will be posted on the website of the Ministry if and when it becomes available.
If you need further information or are looking to filing an application for government support, we will of course be happy to assist you in every way.
Government resolutions Nos. 1078 and 1079 of 21 October 2020
Government resolution No. 1098 of 26 October 2020
Government resolution No. 1039 of 14 October 2020