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Coronavirus: Labour minister appeals to businesses not to sack workers

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Labour minister Zeta Emilianides

Labour minister Zeta Emilianidou on Tuesday appealed to certain businesses impacted by the coronavirus restrictions to refrain from sacking employees this month, as the state will continue subsidising salaries throughout December.

The latest decree issued by the health ministry – valid from November 30 to December 13 – further restricts establishments’ opening hours, but also outright bans certain others (like betting shops and casinos) from operating altogether.

“The same schemes [as before] have been announced for December as well. Any businesses affected by the new measures are urged not to fire employees, because the subsidy can go up to 97 per cent or even 100 per cent,” Emilianidou said in parliament.

The labour ministry later issued a statement specifying that businesses forced to suspend operations or that have experienced a decline in turnover of 80 per cent or more during the month of November qualify for the same state assistance for December.

Businesses employing up to nine people are eligible for the special unemployment benefit, granted to all employees regardless of their capacity (managerial staff or otherwise.)

For outfits employing more than nine people, assistance will be made available to 97 per cent of the staff.

In addition, the ministry has published in the government gazette an amended regulatory administrative act applying to self-employed persons eligible for assistance for the month of November.

This applies to individuals whose businesses were forced to completely suspend operations from November 13 to November 30.

Moreover, in filing for support these individuals need not submit an auditor’s report for the month of November.

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