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March 27, 2020

UPDATED - Czech government approves "Kurzarbeit"

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-- UPDATE 27 March 2020 --

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has announced that the Antivirus Kurzarbeit programme will be set up in such a way that employers can ask for a refund of paid wages after the end of the reporting period, i.e. after the end of the calendar month for which the employer will apply for the contribution. For the month of March, the employer will therefore submit an application at the beginning of April. Detailed information on the use of the support, including the application for support, will be published in the week commencing with Monday, 30 March 2020.


The Czech government has approved "kurzarbeit" or reduced working hours for companies affected by the spread of the coronavirus. Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová (Social Democrats, CSSD) said that the state will pay companies between 50 and 80% of paid salaries due to restrictions on production or services.

“We don't want companies to lay off people. The purpose of the programme is to subsidise employees' wages so that people are not made redundant,” Maláčová explained why the programme was a approved.

Essentially, there are five different regimes under the "Antivirus" programme:

Regime A: In the case of mandatory quarantine for employees and 60% of the average salary is paid by the employer, then this wage is fully reimbursed to the employer by the state.

Regime B: When hiring of employees due to government crisis measures is impossible - this is used in the event that the operation is closed due to a government order. When the employer pays a wage replacement in full of the average salary, he can receive a reimbursement of 80% from the state.

Regime C: When a substantial number of employees - a minimum of 30% of the employees - cannot be assigned to work as a result of quarantine or childcare. When the employer pays a wage replacement in full of the average salary, he can receive a reimbursement of 80% from the state.

Regime D: When - as a result of quarantine measures - there is a limitation of the availability of deliveries at the (foreign) supplier (raw materials, products, services) that are necessary for the employer's activity (or general loss of production). When the employer pays the employee a wage replacement equal to 80% of the average salary, he can receive a reimbursement from the state of 50%.

Regime E: When there is a reduction in demand for services and products of the employer due to quarantine measures at the point of sale of the employer (domestically and abroad). When the employer pays the employee a wage replacement of at least 60% of the average salary, he can receive a reimbursement of 50% from the state.

According to the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, the arrangements for support programs are being prepared and should be available later this week.

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