Due to the worsening of the epidemiological situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 and in connection with the tightening of protective measures, the government approved the extension of regime A of the Antivirus program until the end of this year. The Antivirus A Plus regime has been newly created, under which entrepreneurs whose operations have been forcibly closed or significantly restricted by government crisis measures can apply for a grant, in a preferential form.
Antivirus regime A extended until the end of the year
The contribution under regime A of the Antivirus program is intended for employers who were forced to close down due to the current epidemiological situation and related crisis measures of the Government of the Czech Republic – i.e. with forced restrictions of activity. At the same time, it continues to cover cases where employees are ordered to quarantine.
Regime A conditions
The Czech government has approved the extension of regime A of the Antivirus program until the end of this year. Apart from the extension of the period for which the contribution can be drawn from the state, there have been no further changes, the closed operations will be entitled to 80% compensation of wages. The highest possible financial compensation per employee increased to CZK 39,000 (super gross wage).
This does not change the fact that if an employee is quarantined, the employer is still entitled to compensation from the state in the amount of 80 % of the salary.
New Antivirus A Plus regime and its conditions
At the same time, a new A Plus regime was introduced, which concerns employers whose operation was forcibly closed or significantly restricted by crisis measures of the Government of the Czech Republic within the framework of an especially second wave of coronavirus spread.
A contribution in the amount of 100% of the paid wage compensation, including levies, up to a maximum of CZK 50,000 per month for one employee applies to the operations affected in this way. The contribution may be used for costs arising from the payment of wages for obstacles to work incurred after 1 October 2020.
There are some additional conditions for Regime A Plus that do not otherwise apply to the Antivirus Regime A and Regime B grant.
Support provided through the A Plus regime meets all the conditions of the Temporary Framework of the European Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “Temporary Framework“), according to direct grants (subsidies) up to EUR 800,000 (or equivalent in CZK) can be provided to companies to address urgent liquidity needs. Other support programs such as COVID – Rent (both calls), COVID – spa, COVID – culture, and some projects within the OP Employment also fall under this Temporary Framework, and thus also within the total limit of EUR 800,000.
It is therefore not possible to provide a contribution in the A Plus regime (or in other programs) to an employer who has already received public support provided under the Temporary Framework in the amount of more than EUR 800,000.
Furthermore, it is not possible to provide a contribution in the A Plus regime to employers who, as of 31 December 2019, were a company in difficulty as defined by the European Commission.
The fulfillment of the above conditions will be documented by the employer in the form of an affidavit, which will be part of the A Plus billing.
How to administratively ensure the transition from regime A to regime A Plus?
The contribution in the Antivirus program is provided based on an agreement concluded with the Labor Office of the Czech Republic. If the employer already has a grant agreement, he will not apply for a new agreement under the A Plus regime. The concluded agreement will be amended by an addendum to the already concluded agreement, while the addendum to the agreement will be concluded with the first statement submitted under the A Plus regime. The transition from the drawing of the contribution from regime A to regime A Plus does not entitle to an increased contribution before 1 October 2020.
If the employer does not have an agreement on the provision of a contribution, he will have to fill in the application via the web application of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. After completing the application, the employer will automatically generate an agreement containing the new wording on the conditions of the Antivirus program regime A Plus.
It is important to mention that a new version of the billing method will be created for A Plus regime. Compared to the current procedure, the statement will contain the necessary affidavits proving the right to draw an increased contribution. The employer will only list employees classified as an obstacle at work under Section 208 of the Labor Code in the Antivirus Plus bill if there has been a forced closure / significant restriction of operation.
At the same time, we would like to point out that it is still possible (even in parallel with the A Plus regime) to draw contributions under the less advantageous, but not yet unlimited A regime.
In connection with the Antivirus program, it is necessary to repeatedly draw attention to its strict conditions, to which the applicant has undertaken by agreeing with the Labour Office. To verify the fulfillment of these conditions, the inspections of the Labour Office have begun to go to the applicants since the summer.
What is examined during such inspection?
In principle, the fulfillment of all obligations, which in any way related to the use of contributions under the program concerning the concerned employees – the proper conclusion of the employment contract and any subsequent amendments and documentation (e.g. wage assessments), attendance records, barriers to work and hours worked, calculation and payment of wages and levies, internal directives and instructions related to the so-called partial unemployment and all documentation and records for these processes, including their compliance with the information provided in the monthly bills under the Antivirus program.
If you are receiving any contributions from the Antivirus program, we strongly recommend that you prepare for such inspection, as it can be expected to be performed by the vast majority of entities that have received support.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Mgr. Jakub Malek, partner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Eliška Vetýšková, legal assistant – email@example.com
UPDATE 05. 11. 2020