BLOG 2021

What the Prvá pomoc ++ program brings businesses from February

Barbora Palenikova

The "Prvá pomoc plus" project, which serves to retain jobs in companies and supports the self-employed individuals is expanded from February 2021 to the "Prvá pomoc plus plus" version: You can apply for it already from 1 March 2021. For the time being, the increased state aid will be provided for the months from February to June 2021; however, the government already announced a further extension of the program for as long as it is necessary. At the same time, the date of hiring new employees for which employers may apply for a contribution is changing - the subsidy now also covers the salaries of new employees hired between 2.9.2020 and 1.2.2021. The program also applies to self-employed persons who established a trade in the period defined above. The given measure (a wider category of first-aid recipients) can be applied already for January contributions.

The key change concerns the measure 2, which reflects the aid provided based on a scale of declining turnover (from 20% to 80%). At the moment, the amount of state aid provided is calculated by every ten percent in the respective ranges. At the same time, the flat-rate contribution in measures 4A and 4B is increased.

Contributions provided based on the measures under this scheme will be available from March, paid retrospectively also for February, through completed statements (but signing of new amendments shall no longer be required).

Currently, it is possible to apply for contributions for the months of November and December 2020 - this option is available until 28 February.

Measure no. 1 and no. 3A

During an officially declared emergency, employers may apply for a contribution under these measures if they retain the existing jobs. The contribution is used to cover wage costs as well as the related contributions paid by the employer and comes in the amount of 100% of the total cost of labour (instead of the original 80%) where the cost of labour is defined as the amount of wage compensation increased by the employer's health and social insurance contributions of 35.2%. The maximum amount of the contribution (€1100) remains unchanged.

The difference between measure no. 1 and measure no. 3A is that in the case of measure no. 1, the employer was forced to close resp. to limit its operation, while in the case of measure no. 3A, the employer requests a contribution for employees who work in an establishment that was allowed to remain open (did not operate under limited regime) on the basis of government regulations or measures adopted by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic.

Measure no. 2 and no. 3B (according to the decline in turnovers)

This group includes employees and self-employed (SZČO), for whom the contribution covers a part of the wage costs per employee based on the decline in turnovers. The original 4 levels of declining turnovers are now expanded to 7 levels (by ten percent), with the contributions ranging from €330 to €870. The decline in turnovers in 2021 is compared with the benchmark month in 2019 (e.g. the turnover in January 2021 vs January 2019), or possibly with the average for 2019. The choice of the method of calculation of the decline in turnovers can be repeatedly changed for the individual months.

From February 2021, the self-employed (SZČO), who are voluntarily insured (health and old-age pension) for at least one half of the calendar month (or until 15 February 2021) can draw contributions on the basis of measure no. 2. They will receive a higher financial contribution of up to €870.

Measures no. 4A and 4B

These measures concern the self-employed (SZČO) who have lost their business income and the contribution amount will increase to €360, which in this case represents an increase of €45 in the flat-rate contribution.

What is changing with effect from February 2021 in a nutshell?

  • The range of eligible employees for whom the employer can apply for a contribution is expanding.
  • The company will be able to request state aid for the employees who have entered into employment in the period from 2. 9. 2020 to 1. 2. 2021 (inclusive).
  • Equally, this assistance is extended to include the self-employed (SZČO), who started their business activity in the period from 2. 9. 2020 to 1. 2. 2021
  • The employee contribution is increased to reach up to 100% of the total cost of labour.
  • Contributions for the self-employed are increased, too (measure no. 2 based on a decline in turnovers).
  • The contributions for the self-employed (SZČO) and single-person companies under measures 4a and 4B will also increase.

The new scheme has yet to be approved by the European Commission. All public administration entities are excluded from this project.