The government is extending the A and B Antivirus programmes until the end of October to help keep employees in companies and prevent extensive redundancies.

From now on, the Antivirus programme will include only two types of support. With mode A, the state contributes to the employer 80 percent of the paid wages for quarantined employees up to maximum monthly supergross wages per employee of CZK 39,000. Mode B covers 60 percent of wage compensation paid by companies that have been forced to declare partial unemployment due to reduced sales of their products or demand for services as a result of COVID19 and related measures, or due to reduced availability of sources necessary for the operation of the company up to maximum monthly super gross wages per employee of CZK 29,000.

Mode C, which has not been extended, represented the waiver of insurance contributions for June through August 2020 for companies with up to 50 employees, which did neither reduce wages nor lay off more than 10 percent of their employees.

At the end of August, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs published a draft amendment to the Employment Act regulating the new institute of kurzarbeit, which should replace the government’s temporary Antivirus programme for the long term. This would reduce working hours in the event of a shortage of work. The employer would therefore pay the wages for the time actually worked and the earnings for the remaining time would be supplemented directly by the Labour Office. This is intended as a universal instrument for responding to unforeseen events not caused by the employer. Kurzarbeit should be eventually used not only in the event of a pandemic, but also during calamities or floods.

The draft amendment including the kurzarbeit rules has yet to go through the legislative process and its final parameters are as of now uncertain. We will inform you in the future about the final form of the amendment and how to submit a request for support.