Select the country (in the left column) to see details on national health measures and economic response and recovery plans. The tracker currently covers 107 countries and 7 regional profiles. Some information is in French or Spanish, depending on the local language. This page is regularly updated. We welcome feedback and additional information from members!
Choisir le pays (colonne de gauche) pour voir les détails sur les mesures nationales de santé, la réponse économique et les plans de relance. Ce suivi contient actuellement 107 pays et 7 profils régionaux. Certaines informations sont en français ou espagnol selon la langue locale. Cette page est régulièrement mise à jour. Commentaires et autres informations de nos membres sont les bienvenus.
Seleccione el país en la columna de la izquierda para consultar la información sobre las medidas nacionales de salud, la respuesta económica y los planes de recuperación. La lista contiene actualmente información sobre 107 países y 7 perfiles regionales. En función del idioma local, la información estará disponible en francés o español. Esta página se actualiza periódicamente. Agradecemos recibir comentarios y más información por parte de nuestros miembros.
The AfDB Group has created a dedicated facility, the Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF), to support its Regional Member Countries and their private sector enterprises from the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The USD 1.35 billion component of the CRF announced by the Bank on April 08, 2020 in support of its existing non-sovereign (private sector) clients will be administrated through the following:
Deferral of Debt Service Payments: The Bank will allocate up to USD 675 million to support the anticipated request from its private sector clients for limited deferral of their loan obligations to the Bank due to a sharp contraction of revenues caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Emergency Liquidity Facility: The Bank will allocate up to USD 405 million to assist its private sector clients facing short-term liquidity challenges caused by Covid-19.
Trade Finance and Guarantees Facility: The Bank will allocate up to USD 270 million to assist its private sector clients to access trade finance and guarantees during this difficult and challenging time.
The government announced a 30-day ban on all parties, festivals and similar social gatherings. Foreign nationals who have traveled to and from China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past 28 days are not being allowed in. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.
24/03/2020: Unión Industrial Argentina (UIA), IOE member, published an overview document presenting results of a survey of their members as well as a summary of ongoing measures in the country and the region.
The country is closing its borders to all non-resident foreigners. While cruise ships will be allowed to refuel and take on provisions, passengers cannot disembark.
Complete “lockdown” for all international incoming passengers starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 17 until March 31. Residents will still be able to enter, but the government is advising against nonessential travel. Cargo will continue to be able to be flown in and relief flights will be possible as long as the airline is willing to operate them.
27/04/2020 Official FAQ on the recently launched coronavirus contact app in Australia.
15/04/2020 Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will now have access to business-saving loans between $250,000 and $50 million under a new $500 million capital facility to be administered by Export Finance Australia. For more information on Export Finance Australia, including how to apply for finance, visit the website or read the fact sheet below.
15/04/2020 COVID-19 Export Capital Facility factsheet
09/04/2020 New update on the spread of Covid-19 in Australia, by ACCI.
07/04/2020 The Prime Minster announced today that agreement had been reached on a rent relief package for small and medium sized businesses (turnover less than $50 million) that are eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program. The rent relief package aims to ensure landlords do not terminate the lease of tenants heavily impacted by COVID-19 and that these tenants continue to honour the lease. The main elements of the package are:
Rent is reduced in proportion to the reduction in the tenant’s turnover.
Rent relief may be provided through both rental waivers and deferrals on the condition that at least 50 percent is in the form of a waiver and any deferral is recovered over the term of the lease, or at least 12 months if the lease is shorter than 12 months.
Support for landlords, particularly the larger ones, is expected to be provided by banks.
30/03/2020 ACCI, IOE member, published an updated Health Headline Measures Fact Sheet, which contains relevant information on social distancing measures, travel restrictions, self-isolation requirements, declard emergency status and school closures.
30/03/2020 The Australian Government announced the $130 billion JobKeeper Payment to help keep Australians in jobs as the country deals with the significant economic impact from the Coronavirus. This brings the Government’s total economic support for the economy to $320 billion across the forward estimates, representing 16.4 per cent of annual GDP.
The Morrison government has signaled a second round of stimulus is coming for sectors bearing the brunt of the economic shock triggered by the coronavirus pandemic including airlines, tourism, events, sport and the arts – as it redoubles efforts to stave off a crippling downturn.
Up to € 4 billion (approx. 1 % of GDP) will be made available in Austria to support the economy by means of loans, guarantees, warranties, to stabilise health care, to stimulate the economy, for short-time work (Kurzarbeit); € 400 million reserved for the time being, etc.; if the funds are not sufficient, there is the possibility of expansion. The Austrian government has announced to expand this support to 38 billion Euros (approx. 10 % of GDP), 4 billion will be spent as mentioned above. 9 billion Euros are foreseen as guarantees and warranties, 15 billion Euros as an emergency help for various sectors and another 10 billion Euros as tax deferrals (Steuer-stundungen) and tax reductions.
Preventive measures at work
Occupational hygiene measures, organizational measures and personal protective measures to protect employees from risks related to exposure to biological agents were clarified with decree (based on health and safety at work regulation).
Labour market management measures
"Corona Short-Time Work" (Covid19-Kurzarbeit):
In the case of "temporary, non-seasonal" economic difficulties (e.g. caused by a drop in sales) due to the corona virus, company employees have the option of reducing their working hours by 10-90% for 3+3 months (in the calculation period, working hours can also be reduced to 0 hours temporarely).
The financial means are available for small and large companies in all sectors; a social partner agreement is a prerequisite for the use of the “Covid19-short-time work“ and the holiday entitlements and time credits of the employee must be used up in advance.
The employment level in the companies must be maintained during the “Covid19-short-time-work“ and one month beyond.
It should be possible to agree short-time working with the Public Employment Service-PES (AMS) within 48 hours.
Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy,South Korea, and Europe in the last 20 days. Residents will be subjected to quarantine for a maximum of 14 days if they have visited the countries. After it registered its first confirmed case, the government closed schools until April 14. All national sporting events and permits for use of public spaces suspended.
10/04/2020 The new COVID-19 Export Capital Facility will target loans to established and previously profitable exporters who, due to COVID-19, are unable to gain finance from commercial sources (in Arabic).
26/03/2020 Capital Governor Shaikh Hesham bin Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa urged compliance (in Arabic) with the precautionary measures which were announced by the Ministry of Interior as part of nationwide efforts to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
24/03/2020 The Bangladesh Employers' Federation (BEF), IOE member, published and distributed an awareness-raising Guidebook for workers and people exposed to increased risk due to their activities.The booklet is in Bengali for easy understanding by workers.
24/03/2020 BEF also conducted a study with partners to evaluate and quantify the immediate impact of the ongoing situation on the country and the effects it is having on business.
Restriction on public gatherings to no more than 100 people, suspension of visits to nursing homes and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.Arriving passengers from China, Italy, Iran and South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days.
Limitation à l'extrême nécessité des entrées et sorties aux frontières terrestres de notre pays. Seules les traversées indispensables seront autorisées en liaison avec les autorités des pays voisins.
Restriction de la délivrance des visas d'entrée au Bénin.
Mise en quarantaine systématique et obligatoire de toute personne venant au Bénin par voie aérienne.
Suspension de toutes les missions à l'extérieur du pays pour les membres du Gouvernement et pour les cadres de l'administration publique, sauf en cas d'urgence absolue. Les structures et les personnes du secteur privé sont invitées à observer la même prudence.
Suspension de toutes les manifestations et tous autres événements non essentiels à caractère sportif, culturel, religieux, politique et festif.
Suspension des préparatifs du pèlerinage à la Mecque en cohérence avec les dispositions prises par les autorités saoudiennes.
Obligation pour les transporteurs en commun de doter leurs employés ainsi que les passagers en masques ou bavettes appropriés, et de respecter les distances de sécurité sanitaire entre occupants.
Recommandation aux personnes éplorées de limiter au strict minimum les obsèques de leurs défunts et de différer les manifestations subséquentes.
Recommandation aux responsables religieux de faire respecter, lors des cultes, la distance de sécurité sanitaire d'au moins un mètre entre fidèles, d'éviter les poignées de mains, les accolades et tous autres gestes contaminants.
Obligation pour les banques, supermarchés, bars, restaurants, entreprises et autres établissements recevant du public, de prévoir des mesures de protection et d'hygiène, et de faire observer par les clients et usagers, la distance de sécurité sanitaire entre eux.
Mise à disposition par l'Etat, au profit des pharmacies, supermarchés et autres structures, de stocks de masques de protection dont les prix seront encadrés pour rester accessibles à l'ensemble de nos concitoyens.
Conseil National du Patronat du Bénin - CNP-BÉNIN
Mise en quarantaine des agents qui reviennent de congés
Pas de réunion de plus de 10 personnes
Assistance de médecin de travail
Proposition du CNP-BÉNIN pour favoriser une reprise économique rapide une fois la crise passée :
Recensement des entreprises concernées à travers une enquête
Veille pour le suivi de la situation
Plaidoyer auprès du Gouvernement pour des mesures d’allègements fiscaux
Plaidoyer auprès des banques pour revoir les échéanciers et faciliter l’obtention de crédit à taux réduits.
Starting Wednesday, March 18, travelers from Europe’s Schengen bloc, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iran would be banned from entering the country. Previously, travelers from Spain, China, South Korea and Italy were barred.
Lockdown measures and Government Economic relief to business (in Spanish):
Decreto MP 936/2020 mediante el cual el Gobierno adoptó conjunto de medidas combinadas que permite la suspensión temporal del contrato de trabajo y la reducción temporal de horas y salarios, através de negociaciones individuales o colectivas, con un complemento salarial pago por el Gobierno, correspondiente al valor del Seguro de Desempleo
07/04/2020: The measures taken by the Federal Government are positive, as they seek to mitigate the harmful effects of the crisis on businesses and provide financial support to the most vulnerable sections of the population.
However, the seriousness of the crisis requires stronger measures to rescue companies in order to ensure their survival during the period of low economic activity and thus preserve jobs.
In this sense, the most important measures to be adopted are the expansion of the list of federal taxes with collection temporarily suspended (in the case of IRPJ, CSLL and IPI) and, with payment in installments of deferred collection, and the provision of instruments of guarantees and/or direct operations of the Central Bank and BNDES with companies. This is the most efficient way to ensure that the new resources available for financing actually reach the final borrower and are not dammed in the financial system.
In general terms, the use of public resources should be directed towards strengthening the health system, alleviating the financial situation of companies, with the aim of preserving jobs, and guaranteeing the income of informal or self-employed workers, given that the main action to control the epidemic (the restriction on the movement of people) will imply the interruption or reduction of their activities.
In order to face the emergency demand for public resources, scarce due to the fiscal situation, the Federal Government and the National Congress resorted to mechanisms already foreseen in the Expense Roof Rule and in the Fiscal Responsibility Law and, with the recognition of the state of public calamity, opened space for the adoption of fiscal measures to combat the crisis. It is important, however, that such measures do not turn into permanent spending, which will deteriorate the fiscal situation after the emergency period.
Finally, it should be noted that some measures are still awaiting approval by the responsible body, presidential decree or the sending and approval of a bill or provisional measure to come into force. It is essential that the necessary actions to implement the announced measures be taken urgently, since the impacts of the pandemic are intensifying rapidly.
Notre membre, le Groupement Inter-Patronal du Cameroun (GICAM), effectue le suivi des répercussions de la crise, notamment pour éclairer les décisions administratives et les mesures de politique économique.
22/04/2020 As at 22 April 2020, the spread of COVID-19 has been largely contained in China by now. Chinese government has taken a string of policies and measures to resume the economic production, stabilize employment, keep the international supply chain unblocked and ensure the normal operation of all kinds of international economic and trade activities.
China is ramping up financial support for the domestic economy, including a cut in banks’ required reserves to increase the liquidity in the market. Ad hoc policy is developed to support the SMEs, micro business and self-employed business, for example deferred principal repayment and interest payment of the loans. In addition, a cut on value-added tax and all kinds of fees has been implemented across the country with the most significant cut applied in Hubei Province which is the province hit hardest by the epidemic.
With the Pandemic continues to affect many countries in the world, the international trade has been significantly affected. China has announced plans to establish new pilots zones for cross-border e-commerce, support the processing trade and host an online version of the Canton Fair which is its signature export fair. These policies roll-outs are expected to expedite the development of cross-border trade at the national level, but also boost economic vitality in respective cities and help local governments attract more investment in the future. Cross-border e-commerce is set to play a bigger role in revitalizing foreign trade.
Chinese government has also attached great importance to support companies for stabilizing employment. Such polices include refunding the unemployment insurance premiums for SMEs with no layoffs or fewer layoffs, granting subsidies for hiring college graduates etc.. SMEs and companies who are affected most by the outbreak can defer the payment of all social insurance premiums and housing provident fund and in some cases pay less. Cost of electricity and water for enterprises have also been reduced.
From CEC’s perspective, the Chinese government is taking very proactive and comprehensive measures to boost the economy, support enterprises and stabilize employment while maintaining good control of COVID-19. China's Purchasing Managers' Index, an indicator of industrial vitality, increased sharply by 16.3 percentage points from its historical low in February, hitting 52 percent in March. According to the survey done by CEC on the resumption of production among top 500 Chinese enterprises in manufacturing sector and service sector, most of the enterprises are optimistic about their performance in the second quarter of the year both in terms of economic performance and employment. It will take a while to see the overall impact of these measures.
CEC has worked with our partners in developing guidance for addressing specific issues on labor relations when enterprises resume production. We have also launched online entrepreneur forum for sharing experiences on combating the Pandemic, resuming production and forecasting new opportunities for investment in the wake of the Pandemic.
01/04/2020 The Chinese government will roll out a set of fiscal and financial policies, including allocating more local government bond quota in advance as per due procedures and intensifying inclusive financial support to SMEs.
24/03/2020: Overview of main measures adopted in Costa Rica so far, presented by Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado (UCCAEP), IOE member.
23/03/2020 Recent measures adopted by the Government (in Spanish):
Cierre total de las playas en todo el país.
Cierre obligatorio de templos y cultos religiosos.
En el marco de la emergencia se instaura una restricción vehicular sanitaria de 10p.m. a 5a.m. a partir de este martes 24 de marzo, los detalles sobre a quienes le cubre dicha restricción y las excepciones contempladas se harán públicos el día de hoy. Quienes incumplan restricción se exponen a la multa de tránsito de ₡22.187,93. colones.
A partir de mañana, todo extranjero residente o con estatus regular en el país que abandone el territorio nacional, pierde automáticamente su estatus migratorio.
Côte d'Ivoire (in French)
Secteurs affectés par la crise
le transport (aérien comme maritime),
l’hôtellerie, le tourisme et l’événementiel
D’autres secteurs ou entreprises – traditionnellement exportateurs ou importateurs – rencontrent également de sérieuses difficultés liées à la fermeture des espaces et sont dans l’impossibilité d’honorer des contrats de livraison en cours.
des mesures sociales, comme décaler pour l’ensemble des abonnés les dates limites de paiement des factures d’électricité et d’eau d’avril à juillet 2020, et de mai à août 2020. A cet effet, des facilités de paiement seront proposées pour soulager les populations ;
des dispositions de préservation de l’outil de production et de l’emploi, comme la mise en place d’un fond de soutien au secteur privé pour un montant de 250 milliards de FCFA, prenant en compte le renforcement du soutien aux PME pour 100 milliards de FCFA, plus la mise en place de fonds de garantie, afin d’avoir un effet de levier sur l’accès au crédit ;
des mesures de soutien aux entreprises, comme reporter de trois mois le paiement des taxes forfaitaires pour les petits commerçants et artisans ; notamment les maquis, les restaurants, les boites de nuit, les bars, les cinémas et les lieux de spectacles.
Difficultés d’approvisionnement à l’étranger et modalités d’importation
Difficultés rencontrées liées aux procédures douanières
Ralentissement de l’activité économique et baisse du chiffre d’affaire
Maintien des emplois et travail à distance
Crise de liquidité ou incapacité de respecter les échéances bancaires
Difficulté d’exécution des travaux
Difficulté de tenir des Conseils d’Administration et Assemblées Générales
Incapacité de respecter les échéances liées aux accords d’investissement
Suivi, évaluation et actualisation de la Matrice des préoccupations et Mesures
En plus, la CGECI s’inscrit dans une dynamique de sensibilisation de ses membres contre le COVID-19 et réaffirme son engagement à lutter de manière dynamique aux côtés du gouvernement pour éradiquer cette pandémie et lutter contre ses conséquences économiques et sociales.
14/04/2020 The government Crisis Committee, specialised body for managing the crisis, stated that a continuous decrease in new cases for several days in a row was necessary to relax the measures (in Croatian).
The first set of measures are of a horizontal nature and relate to those enterprises that have already felt the consequences of the epidemic. It includes the deferment of paying income and profit tax; contributions on wages; three-month moratorium on liabilities to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and commercial banks; the approval of loans for cash flow in order to pay wages, suppliers and to reschedule other liabilities.
10/04/2020 Analysis from IOE member, Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB)
While the Cyprus economy is still recovering from the deep recession which occurred in 2013, the Government has announced a generous package of relief measures to support businesses and employment to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The government and the political parties have taken immediate actions in a spirit of consensus and have allocated the necessary resources to prevent the economic collapse. Overall, the measures are considered satisfactory, enabling many businesses to survive during the crisis period and the rough conditions for doing business.
The Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB) called the business community to strictly comply with the government decisions and decrees in order to eliminate the pandemic quickly and return to normal conditions as soon as possible. OEB has also established an active communication line with all relevant Government Ministries and the Police and we are actively involved and consulted in our areas of responsibility.
The government measures include tax relief such as postponement to the payment of VAT and corporate tax declaration, reduction of electricity cost, postponement of the increased contribution the new health system, unemployment benefits for workers and financial support for enterprises with proven reduction in turnover for a total period of 7 months. The Government has also passed a legislation for the suspension for credit facilities and interest payments for a period of 9 months. In addition, the government has restricted the movement of persons and suspended the operation of many sectors of the economy, like retail sector, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, amusements parks, construction sites and other economic activities, having a severe impact to all the others sectors, a negative effect on consumption and an unprecedented decline in economic activity. Some sectors like the manufacturing sector are up and running but there is a significant reduction in production lines due to the suspension of operation of major sectors of the economy.
Being a Mediterranean island, Cyprus relies greatly on its Tourism industry therefore it is defined as a “critical sector” of the economy. Tourism covers not only hotel / accommodation businesses but also a broad range of businesses which provide goods or services to facilitate tourism (e.g. airlines, travel agencies, transport, restaurants etc). Entry to all visitors from all destinations has currently stopped. Hotel reservations have been cancelled, airlines are already reconsidering their future itineraries and the duration of this crisis is still uncertain, thus causing further disruption to the whole economy of the country. In general there is a great uncertainty among the Cyprus business community for the viability of enterprises and the economy.
In terms of labour market measures, the government published a series of schemes aimed to support businesses, vulnerable groups, self- employed and parents. The general direction of the schemes was the safeguarding of job positions. As an initial reaction, the governmental measures seem adequate to preserve business activities in the short term while concerns remain for the long term impact of the crisis, especially as mentioned above in relation to the Tourism industry.
We note that in an effort to eliminate bureaucracy and make the support direct and quick, the government implemented specialised online platforms to help facilitate and expedite the submission, processing and payment of the new schemes and special allowances introduced so as the support to be immediate and without delay. The first set of schemes, described below, were introduced from 16th March until 12th April 2020, however on April 8th it was announced that the schemes (especially on suspension of business) will be extended up until mid-June while further support will be given for an additional period of four months after the schemes expire based on criteria that will be announced shortly. This announcement gave hope that the schemes will be indeed effective.
A brief analysis of each scheme is given below:
1. Special Leave to private sector parents to care for children
Applies to parents with children up to 15 years of age (or children with disabilities irrespective of their age) and who can’t work from home or through telework or with flexible work arrangements or don’t have any other assistance at home.
Eligible parents must be insured to Social Insurance Fund and their monthly salary cannot exceed €2.500.
Special leave cannot exceed 4 weeks for both parents. One parent at a time can take advantage of this arrangement.
For a parent with a salary of up to € 2.500: for the first € 1.000 of the parent's salary a 'special leave' allowance of 60% of the salary will be paid and for the subsequent €1.000 of his / her salary, a 40% allowance will be paid. It is noted that in the case of single-parent families, the rate of payment of the benefit varies between 70% and 50% respectively. Beneficiaries who receive other benefits (unemployment benefit, special unemployment benefit, sick leave and special sick leave) cannot received special leave at the same time.
Special leave is also granted to parents of people with disabilities (regardless of age), provided that no care allowance is granted for such persons
Employer consent is required. Employer has no obligation to remunerate the employee during their absence.
The period of special leave will be considered as a period of simulated insurance.
2. Special Sick Leave benefit to employees and the self-employed as follows:
Vulnerable groups, as determined by the Ministry of Health, provided they can’t work through telework/from home
Individuals under mandatory quarantine or self-isolation at home. These individuals may not be necessarily sick (hence they wouldn’t qualify for regular sick leave benefit) and their isolation may be for precautionary reasons. Special certificate issued by the Ministry of Health is required
Individuals diagnosed with COVID19. Special certificate issued by the Ministry of Health is required
Individuals between 63-65 years of age belonging in the above categories and provided they do not receive pension
The benefit is granted to individuals who meet social insurance legislation requirements or are registered with the Social Insurance Fund (employees receiving pensions are exempted). Benefit paid at a maximum of €1.214 per month. The period of special sick leave will be considered as a period of simulated insurance. Benefit cannot be received concurrently with other benefits (unemployment benefit, special unemployment benefit, sick leave and special sick leave).
3. Work Suspension Schemes
Two work suspension plans for the private sector have been introduced for the period 11/3/2020-12/4/2020; One for Full Suspension of activities and another for Partial Suspension of activities. Both plans are designed to prevent layoffs by providing affected employees with unemployment allowance for as long as the employer’s business activities are suspended.
Full Suspension of Activities Scheme:
Eligibility criteria: Employers in areas of business activity who have been ordered by government to cease operations and companies whose operations are directly related to the activities of companies in the former group, provided they have an 80% or more decrease in their turnover relative to the same reference period in 2019. Employers must have not terminated any employees after March 1st (unless the employee was terminated for reasons not granting him a right to a notice).
Support provided: Up to 90% of employees of eligible companies can stay home and receive special unemployment benefit, although directors, large shareholders and owners are in most cases exempted (however all employees are eligible in companies employing up to 9 persons). During that period, employers are not obliged to remunerate employees. Employees whose services are suspended are not allowed to work.
Special unemployment benefit is granted to employees who meet Social Insurance legislation requirements. Those who don’t but are insured are still eligible under certain preconditions. Employees who receive pension are not eligible. The special unemployment benefit cannot exceed €1.214 and the suspension period is deemed as a period of simulated insurance.
Restrictions: Companies are restricted for conducting any business activity, save for administrative work and online sales (which are under 10% of their turnover). Companies who choose to participate in the scheme are not allowed to terminate any employee (unless it is for reasons justifying termination without notice) during the suspension period and an additional protection period equal to the suspension period plus 1 month.
Partial Suspension of Activities Scheme:
Eligibility criteria: Any employer whose turnover decreased by 25% or more in the same reference period relative to 2019 is eligible to participate (some areas of economic activity are exempted from the scheme), although owners, large shareholders and directors are generally exempted. Employers must have not terminated any employees after March 1st (unless the employee was terminated for reasons not granting him a right to a notice).
Support provided: Up to 60% of employees of eligible companies (75% if the company employs up to 50 people), can stay home and receive special unemployment benefit. During that period, employers are not obliged to remunerate employees. Employees are allowed to work during the period the scheme is implemented and the employer can supplement the employee’s special unemployment benefit.
Special unemployment benefit is granted to employees who meet Social Insurance legislation requirements. Those who don’t but are insured are still eligible under certain preconditions. Employees who receive pension are not eligible. The special unemployment benefit cannot exceed €1.214 and the suspension period is deemed as a period of simulated insurance.
Restrictions: Companies who choose to participate in the scheme are not allowed to terminate any employee (unless it is for reasons justifying termination without notice) during the suspension period and an additional protection period equal to the suspension period plus 1 month.
4. Work Suspension Scheme for the Self-employed
Self-employed individuals who have suspended their operations for COVID19 related reasons can participate in this special scheme granting them a Special Self-Employed Allowance.
Suspension can be full or partial (if turnover has been reduced by 25% or more relative to 2019). Certain categories of self-employed are exempted from participating. The monthly allowance is between €300-€900 and cannot be received concurrently with any other allowances such as unemployment benefit, sick leave benefit etc.
Scheme participants are not allowed to terminate any employee (unless it is for reasons justifying termination without notice) during the suspension period and an additional protection period equal to the suspension period plus 1 month. During suspension period, the beneficiary is exempt from paying any Social Insurance contributions and said period is considered as simulated insurance.
5. Social Insurance and General Health System contribution arrangements
General Health System (GHS): Planned increases in GHS contributions (the Cypriot healthcare system is being partially implemented, with a planned gradual increase of contributions) have been postponed for 3 months, both for employers and employees.
Social Insurance Contributions: Deadline for social insurance contributions payments for February has been extended without any penalties from March 31st to April 14th. For self-employed persons (in the case they want to submit a request to pay contributions on their real income) this period has been extended to April 30th.
6. Other schemes and provisions in place
Mobile service units were introduced, providing and caring to the needs of elderly and vulnerable people. NGOs, businesses and volunteer groups assist in this national effort.
Cyprus for the past few years has also been operating a means-tested Minimum Guaranteed Income scheme, which adds an additional layer of protection to the most vulnerable groups in our society.
03/04/2020 The Danish social partners and the Danish government concluded a tripartite agreement on a Temporary Scheme for Pay Compensation to companies in risk of laying off staff in order to retain jobs. The agreement entails:
Companies that would otherwise be forced to cut staff by minimum 30 pct., or more than 50 employees, are eligible for pay compensation. The state compensation will be at 75 pct. of the total salary expenses to the employees in question, however with a maximum of 23.000 DKK [approx. 3000 Euro] per employee. The compensations will be paid out on condition that the employees are not laid off. The companies must also make a commitment that they will not lay off employees for financial reasons during the period in which they receive compensation.
Employers of employees affected by the coronavirus – infected or quarantined – will receive sickness benefit reimbursement for wages and sickness benefits as early as the first day of absence rather than after 30 days, as under normal circumstances.
A possibility for companies to temporary reduce the work hours of employees to avoid dismissals because of decline in orders etc. Under certain conditions, the employees will be entitled to supplementary unemployment benefits during this temporary period.
Allocation of 10 mill. DKK [1.33 mill. Euro] to ensure fast and targeted initiatives in case of large-scale dismissals caused by COVID-19, such as job search courses or upskilling.
The government has suspended the activity of all Danish job centers. Activation offers are cancelled while the payment of unemployment benefits is not suspended. Likewise, it is still possible to apply for unemployment benefits.
01/04/2020 Denmark's finance ministry has announced plans to spend up to 40bn Danish kroner ($6bn) to help companies hit by the coronavirus crisis to cover their fixed costs until cash flow resumes. The self-employed and firms with up to ten people who see their revenues fall more than 30 percent will also be offered government compensation worth 75 percent of their normal monthly income - up to a maximum of 23,000-a-month.
Employers are pleased with the agreement. According to DI, the agreement can become a much needed lifeline for many companies, who are hard pressed on their livelihoods and face having to lay off employees. See here.
Valoración de las medidas adoptadas por el Gobierno de la República Dominicana como respuesta a la crisis del COVID 19
Según COPARDOM, la organización de empleadores más representativa en República Dominicana, las medidas adoptadas por el Gobierno a la fecha, en términos generales son apropiadas.
Las mismas fueron identificadas en conjunto GOBIERNO-EMPLEADORES-TRABAJADORES, independientemente de que al ser puestas en marcha las medidas de índole laboral generaron EXCLUSIONES innecesarias. Aún así, se mantiene un diálogo continuo y fluido entre los actores sociales y el Gobierno.
Es importante destacar que no se ha medido aún el impacto del primer paquete de medidas y que se espera comenzar a evaluar junto al Gobierno los planes de reactivación y estímulo económico.
15/04/2020 As of today, there are 1,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Estonia, according to the country’s Health Board (33,967 tests have been conducted so far); 147 people are hospitalised, eleven are in intensive care and in a critical condition; 35 people have died; 117 previously hospitalised patients have recovered. The Estonian government declared an emergency situation on 12 March and closed its borders on 17 March.
The EU has put forward a package of €540 billion to support member states. The package consists of three immediate safety nets for workers, businesses and EU countries.
The EU has taken swift action to redirect EU funds to help member states:
- €37 billion from structural funds to support EU countries and their citizens in their fight against the outbreak
- up to €800 million through the EU Solidarity Fund, which has been amended to provide support to member states affected by public health crises like the one caused by COVID-19
- additional €3.1 billion unlocked from the 2020 budget to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
In addition, the EU has also increased flexibility in the use of structural funds. This allows member states to transfer money between different funds and regions to meet their needs in mitigating the social and economic damage of the pandemic. They can also request up to 100% financing from the EU budget for programmes dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The EU adopted specific measures to help certain professions hit hard by the crisis and acted to minimise the effects of the pandemic on the most deprived EU citizens by increasing the reach of the fund for aid to the most deprived.
The EU is applying the full flexibility of EU fiscal rules to help the authorities to support healthcare systems and businesses and to keep people in employment during the crisis. The EU state aid rules have also been relaxed so that governments can provide liquidity to the economy to support citizens and companies, thus saving jobs.
In order to ensure economic continuity, the EU is working with member states to establish priority lanes for transport of goods. This is necessary to maintain the flow of essential goods and services within internal borders.
The European Investment Bank is offering liquidity support to help hard-hit small and medium-sized enterprises with an emergency support package of up to €40 billion. The European Central Bank has announced a €750 billion pandemic emergency programme for the purchase of private and public securities during the crisis. This comes in addition to the €120 billion programme announced earlier.
The EU is preparing a recovery plan, based on a revamped proposal for the next long-term EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework). This includes enabling the twin transition towards a greener and digital society, and drawing all lessons from the current crisis for the EU’s preparedness and resilience.
Macron and Merkel back EU bond to raise €500 billion for COVID-19 recovery plan
France and Germany have announced they are backing the creation of an EU bond to raise €500 billion to boost the European economy, severely weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The two country leaders, who unveiled their proposal in a joint video press conference, said that work is still needed "to bring together all the member states" as the measure is expected to raise objections in several member states who have previously opposed the creation of so-called "coronabonds".
The €500 billion recovery fund proposed would see the European Commission raise money on the markets. It would come on top of the bloc's next budget — the Multiannual Financial Framework — and the €540 billion of loans already announced by the Eurogroup. The money raised by the Commission would be used "in a targeted manner" to support sectors and regions particularly impacted by the pandemic.
addressing the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs (€502 million);
strengthening partner countries' health, water and sanitation systems and their research and preparedness capacities to deal with the pandemic, (€2.8 billion); and
mitigating the socioeconomic impact. (€12.28 billion).
Over €15.6 billion from existing external action resources have been allocated, out of which 12.3 billion will address the economic and social consequences envisaging the following actions:
Providing direct budget support and concessional financing for partner countries to adopt reforms for socio-economic development and poverty reduction, and measures to protect workers;
Supporting the private sector, especially SMEs and the self-employed, via guarantees, liquidity provisions and technical assistance and further reorient guarantees from the European Fund for Sustainable Development towards short-term risk-sharing on loans;
Providing public sector loans from the European Investment Bank, notably for healthcare equipment and supplies;
Working with international organisations and European companies to build strong and resilient value chains in strategic sectors and ensure labour rights and corporate social responsibility;
Promoting forms of debt relief considered by the IMF in affected countries.
McKinsey has estimated that the COVID-19 crisis could leave up to 59 million jobs at risk in Europe - 26 percent of total employment in the 27 member countries of the European Union, plus the United Kingdom. Read the full McKinsey note here.
02/04/2020 More than 2,000 Agricultural COVID-19 Response Packages have been distributed to households in the country as part of the Government’s effort to ensure access to adequate food of acceptable quality and nutritional value.
25/03/2020 There are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Fiji. Minister Akbar strongly pleads with all teachers to act as gatekeepers of their communities and help share information on the preventive actions our children and members of the community can undertake at this point in time.
06/04/2020 The employer may under certain conditions lay off an employee temporarily when the employer’s potential for offering work has diminished temporarily. A lay-off must be announced 14 days in advance. The lay off may be full-time or part-time. Coronavirus can cause a reduction in work and this situation may entitle the employer to lay off employees. The employee has the right to an unemployment allowance during the temporary lay off. The employee must register as an unemployed jobseeker and meet the other conditions to receive an unemployment allowance.
The Finnish Social Security Institution (KELA) pays a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease, which compensates for the full loss of income due to absence from work with no waiting period, to a sick employee or self-employed throughout the period of corona quarantine or isolation. If the employer has paid wages to the employee during the employee’s sick leave, Kela will pay the sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease to the employer. Other employees and self-employed persons who have not been ordered to quarantine or isolation are paid normal sickness allowance. A guardian or parent who is caring for a sick child under 16 years of age is also eligible for a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease if the child has been quarantined and, as a result, the parent or guardian cannot go to work. In order to receive a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease, it is required that the decision concerning the quarantine or isolation be made by the doctor responsible for infectious disease control in the relevant municipality or hospital district.
An employer can prohibit an employee from coming to work. This type of order does not release the employer from the obligation to pay wages and salaries. Thus, during the period that the employee is forced to remain at home, the employer must pay the same wages or salary as is paid when the employee is at the workplace. Employees have the right to an unpaid leave of absence for compelling family circumstances. An employee can take a temporary leave of absence to care for a sick child, and collective bargaining agreements generally stipulate that wages or salary must be paid in this situation. Allowances are carried out accoding to existing legislation per se, and granting of the benefits have not been amended. Finland has prepared for increased benefit expenditure and more staff handling benefit applications have been trained.
Labour market working group:The Minister of Employment has set up a high-level tripartite working group consisting of representatives from ministries, various authorities and social partners to mitigate the negative employment consequences of the COVID-19. The working group’s task is to propose actions to safeguard the functioning of the labour market, to prevent job losses, to avoid the bankruptcy of viable businesses and to safeguard the position of employees. Also additional measures to maintain the functioning of the labour market and to secure the work places will be prepared both through bi-partite social dialogue, including collective bargaining and through legislative measures.
The social partners prepare proposals: Social partners are invited to use all existing flexibility clauses of the labour legislation and collective agreements to speed the lay-off and other applicable flexibility procedures and to come up with proposals on the application of the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings due to the situation caused by the corona virus, and on the possibilities of implementing the crisis clauses of collective agreements. The social partners have also been invited to assess the effects of still partly on-going collective bargaining round on the functioning of the labour market in the changed situation.
Legislative measures in the field of labour law Many Finnish enterprises have already benefitted the existing temporary lay-off system during the corona-crises, but due to the long information and consultation phase before the lay-offs can be effective, this measure cannot be used without a disproportionate delay. Some further amendments to the legislation are under preparation, for example concerning a more flexible use of the lay-off procedures. A temporary exemption from the information and consultation duty before the lay-off can take place during the crises is also under consideration.
23/03/2020 Fact sheet on new Governmental emergency legal measures relating to business in France (in French).
France has already put in place many measures to respond to the crisis:
Deadlines for the payment of social and/or fiscal contributions.
In the most difficult situations, direct tax rebates may be decided on the basis of an individualised examination of the applications.
Support from the State and the Banque de France to negotiate with one's bank a rescheduling of bank loans.
Maintaining employment in companies through the simplified and reinforced short-time working scheme.
Support in the handling of a conflict with customers or suppliers by the Business Ombudsman.
The recognition by the State and local authorities of the Coronavirus as a case of force majeure for their public contracts. Consequently, for all State and local government procurement contracts, penalties for delays will not be applied.
Guarantees for bank loans: The State guarantees up to 300 billion euros all bank loans taken out by companies with banks.
Solidarity Fund: A solidarity fund of at least 1 billion euros will be created for micro-entrepreneurs, for the smallest businesses, for the self-employed, who have less than one million turnover and who have lost, between March 2019 and March 2020, 70% of their turnover.
Suspended taxes and contributions: targeted measures for small businesses, after those for the deferral of social security and tax charges and for short-time working paid beyond the minimum wage.
Suspended bills and rents: Water, gas and electricity bills as well as rents will be suspended for these companies. Fixed costs will also be reduced by the saving of rents, especially for businesses that have to close.
Partial unemployment covered: The State will fully cover partial unemployment requested by companies penalized by the spread of the new coronavirus, including beyond the minimum wage.
03/06/2020 Germany: economic stimulus and crisis management package
Analysis by BDA
On the evening of 3 June 2020, the Federal Government agreed on a comprehensive economic stimulus and crisis management package. The aim is to mitigate the direct consequences of the corona pandemic and the associated economic slump and create growth incentives geared to the future.
The package contains the following key points:
Strengthening domestic demand in Germany through a temporary reduction of the VAT rate from 19 % to 16 % and from 7 % to 5 % in the period 1.6.2020-31.12.2020 (financial requirements 20 billion euros)
Stabilisation of social security contributions at a maximum of 40% under a "Social Guarantee 2021". Any financial requirements beyond this will be covered by the federal budget until 2021. (financial requirements: 5.3 billion euros in 2020; requirements in 2021 can only be determined when the 2021 budget is drawn up)
Legislative extension of the tax loss carryback for 2020 and 2021 to a maximum of EUR 5 million and EUR 10 million respectively (in the case of joint assessment). Introduction of a mechanism to make this carryback financially effective in the 2019 tax return, e.g. by creating a tax corona reserve. Dissolution of the reserve by the end of 2022 at the latest (financial effect: shifting effect of EUR 2 billion)
Launch of a programme of transitional aid to ensure the survival of SMEs in the event of turnover losses due to corona. Maximum volume 25 billion euros, the transitional aid is granted for the months June-August and applies across all sectors. Special features of particularly affected sectors (e.g. hotel and restaurant industry, caterers, pubs, clubs, bars, travel agencies, event logistics) should be given due consideration. (Financial requirements: 25 billion euros from unused existing programme)
Support for capacity expansion in the area of kindergartens, day-care centres and crèches by providing an additional EUR 1 billion for expansion measures to be implemented in 2020 and 2021. (Financial requirement: 1 billion euros)
Accelerate the investment programme for the expansion of all-day schools and all-day childcare. Länder that draw down funds for investments in 2020 and 2021 will receive the corresponding amount additionally in the later years of the term. In addition, the catalogue of eligible investments will be expanded in the Digital Pact for Schools. In addition, the Federal Government will in future make a lump-sum contribution to the training and financing of administrators if the Länder in return step up the digital continuing training of teachers. (Financial requirement: 2 billion euros)
Initiate a boost to digitisation in the public administration. In addition to speeding up the processes of digital administration, measures for the digital empowerment of local authorities and sustainable energy consumption are being strived for. The digitisation of the economy will be given an immediate additional boost through the expanded depreciation possibilities for digital assets, the establishment of a sovereign infrastructure and a funding programme to support the establishment and expansion of platforms and to enable SMEs to accelerate the digital transformation (funding requirement: 1 billion euros).
In addition to the mentioned points, a number of measures are planned in the areas of support for families, climate protection, digitisation and future technologies, and strengthening the health care system.
The package is extremely comprehensive in terms of both content and funding and, overall, sends an important signal for a rapid exit from the crisis. The macroeconomic focus is correct and takes up most of the proposals from the business community. It was right to take a macroeconomic perspective, for example in limiting social security contributions to a maximum of 40 % and in the bridging assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The tax measures are to be welcomed, especially the improvement in loss offsetting.
The investments to accelerate digitisation are also welcome. Important future projects such as the digitisation of administration, the promotion of future technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing and the expansion of digital infrastructure (5G and broadband) will bring new momentum and additional resources. The concretisation and implementation of the measures must now be pursued consistently and rapidly.
With regard to the envisaged strengthening of the health care system, policymakers are certainly and consistently drawing the right lessons from the current pandemic or the most recent supply problems. Without exception, these are all social tasks that must be fully financed from tax revenues and must not be at the expense of health insurance companies or contributors.
Article in Financial Times: The German government has agreed a €130bn fiscal stimulus centred on a big cut in value added tax as it scrambles to mitigate the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic.
28/04/2020 New analysis on current measures from IOE member, BDA:
The Government adopted a balanced overall package. This is the necessary vaccine against possible economic slumps. The agreed facilitations for the receipt of short-time work benefits finally implement essential demands of the BDA. The assumption of social security costs is a suitable means and at the moment also the most effective liquidity package for the companies affected. The inclusion of temporary work in the short-time working scheme is also consistent, as it is particularly affected by the consequences of the corona virus. The flexible use of short-time work compensation is necessary in order to be able to adapt to constantly changing challenges and react at short notice.
In addition, planning facilitations for investments take up long-standing demands of the employers, so that existing investment funds can flow off more quickly. The Government has resisted the siren calls for a departure from the constitutional debt brake or its circumvention and is thus continuing its trustworthy and solid financial policy.
06/04/2020 Short-time allowance(Kurzarbeitergeld): This is a wage replacement benefit of the German unemployment insurance scheme. The main purpose of short-time allowance is to make it possible to continue to employ workers and avoid redundancies in cases of a temporary loss of work. Workers can thus keep their jobs. When orders improve, employers have their experienced staff at their disposal without delay (no time needed for work familiarization, no recruitment costs) and can react immediately to rising demand levels. To cope with the consequences of the Corona pandemic, it will be possible for a limited period of time to ease the eligibility criteria for short-time allowances and introduce benefit improvements by way of an ordinance:
Short-time allowances are granted if 10% of a company’s employees are affected by short-time work. This share amounted to at least one-third before.
Employers are fully reimbursed for the social insurance contributions they have to pay in the event of short-time work.
Short-time work is also possible for temporary agency workers.
No negative working time accounts are built up in companies where use is made of agreements on working time fluctuations.
Germany has a contribution-funded unemployment insurance scheme that covers the risk of unemployment for employees subject to compulsory social insurance (employment promotion, Book Three of the Social Code). In case of longer periods of unemployment, support is provided by the tax-funded basic income support scheme for jobseekers (Book Two of the Social Code).
Continued payment of wages in the event of sickness: The most prominent case of legally prescribed wage payments without any work performed by an employee is the continued payment of wages in the event of sickness, which already exists. In the event of sickness, employees are entitled to continued wage payments from their employer in the amount of 100% for a period of up to six weeks while they are unable to work. After this period, employees covered by the statutory health insurance are entitled to sickness benefits. The prerequisite for the continued payment of wages in the event of sickness is an uninterrupted duration of the employment relationship of four weeks.
Continued payment of wages for parents who have to care for their children and cannot work due to school closures: Under current legislation, workers who have to care for their children can only be absent from work without cuts to their wages under narrow circumstances and for short periods of time (a few days, usually only two to three days).
Working from home: In light of the current situation, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Health have recommended to take a more thorough look at whether it is possible for a worker to work from home in areas where this is possible and to make use of this option.
Rules for working hours: In Germany, the Länder are responsible for the rules governing working hours and they have already granted exemptions in the public interest, especially for work on Sundays and longer working hours, for example in order to provide citizens with basic necessities.
Child supplement: A child supplement (Kinderzuschlag) of 185 euros is granted per child and month. This is in addition to child benefit (Kindergeld) and to housing benefit (Wohngeld) for people on low incomes. And for those who - due to COVID-19 - unexpectedly find themselves in a situation where they have low incomes (for example due to short-time work or loss of earnings) the child supplement is the right instrument to provide quick help. The application for child supplement is very unbureaucratic and can be done online.
30/03/2020 The government is making up to €500bn in loans available to companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Most of these will be provided via KfW, the state development bank. The loans will be available to all companies. Berlin is expanding its programme of export credits and other guarantees to help companies in crisis. It has also pledged that companies affected by coronavirus can defer “billions of euros” in tax payments. The German administration is also expanding a government-subsidised scheme to compensate workers who are sent home by their employers during an economic crisis.
This is the biggest aid package in the country’s post-War history. Financial support in the works for firms forced to halt work and send staff home. Government to boost investments by €3.1 billion per year between 2021 and 2024.
The Bundestag has rushed through a law expanding access to this compensation, known as Kurzarbeitergeld. The wages of about 1.5m Germans were subsidised by the Kurzarbeitergeld scheme during the 2008 financial crisis — shielding the country from a surge in unemployment — at a total cost to the taxpayer of €8bn, according to Deutsche Bank. Bavaria, a wealthy southern state that is home to big companies such as BMW and Siemens, has launched a €10bn fund to buy stakes in struggling companies.
01 April 2020: The Government of Ghana announced the closure of the country’s borders, effective from 00:01 GMT 23 March until 23:00 GMT 5 April. The border closure will see the suspension of all international flights into Ghana and all international flights out of Ghana. This closure will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.
All universities and schools have been cancelled.
All conferences, rallies, workshops, events and burials with more than 25 persons have been suspended
Only hotels, malls, supermarkets and restaurants may continue their activities, but with enhanced hygiene measures.
See real time updates from the Ministry of Health: here
Pushing for deferment of VAT, Income tax payments for 3 months
Request for tax payments for up to the mid-year (or beyond as appropriate) be deferred or be allowed to be paid in instalments by businesses after prior agreement with the revenue authorities.
A temporary loan scheme intended for SME’s and distressed but potentially viable big businesses, to cushion them against the impact of the pandemic
Emergency Fund to help address the financial challenges or fallout from the outbreak of the pandemic, such as payment of workers’ salaries, procurement of raw materials, working capital, among others
Request for the Government to work with Commercial Banks to assure that businesses are allowed by the Banks to continue to access the facilities under more flexible conditions so that the Businesses do not collapse for want of working capital, among others.
16/04/2020 Official page on Covid-19 of the National Public Health Organization.
La baisse du prix du carburant à la pompe, conformément aux accords tripartites
Des allègements fiscaux :
La dispense du paiement des acomptes provisionnels de l’exercice 2020,
Un report de date de dépôt des états financiers et un échelonnement de 6 mois du paiement du solde de l’impôt sur les sociétés,
La suspension du prélèvement forfaitaire des personnes n’ayant pas de clé TVA,
La suspension de la retenue de 50% de la TVA afin de ne pas impacter davantage la trésorerie de nos entreprises,
La suspension temporaire de la Taxe sur les Activités Financières,
La suppression de la patente et de la CFU sur les immobilisations fixées au sol pour l’exercice 2020,
La suspension temporaire du paiement de la TVA au cordon douanier pour alléger le coût de nos importations,
La suspension temporaire du paiement du prélèvement forfaitaire de 5% au cordon douanier,
La prise en charge par l’Etat des charges sociales pour une période d’au moins 6 mois.
Avec la contribution de notre membre, le Conseil National du Patronat Guinéen (CNPG), le Gouvernement a créé un plan de riposte économique à la crise sanitaire COVID-19 pour contenir l’impact de la pandémie aux niveaux sanitaire, social, économique et financier. Le but de cet plan est de soutenir l’économie et d'aider le secteur privé à absorber les chocs induits par le ralentissement prévisible de l’activité économique.
06/04/2020 Employment: If an employee is prevented from appearing at their place of work due to an epidemiological quarantine and even temporarily cannot be employed at another position, they will be exempted from their obligation to work and also from being available for work, since they are officially incapacitated from work. For the period of incapacity the employee shall receive sickness cash benefit. In the case of "voluntary quarantine" and if the employer's activities and the nature of the job permit so, the employer and the employee may agree that the employer temporarily authorize the employee to work from their home (home office), provided that the information technology or computing facilities are available. If due to an epidemic the employer is unable to provide work to its employees or if the employee is unable to perform their work due their other obligation (e.g. for caring for a child, for long-term personal care of a relative, etc.), the employer may grant paid or unpaid leave, on the basis of the agreement of the parties. Remuneration may be due to the employee based on their agreement. It is also possible for the parties to agree on a part-time employment.
14/04/2020 Official page on Covid-19 from the Directorate of Health and The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.
14/04/2020 Overview of measures, developments and sources of information.
01/04/2020 Indian Government has brought in an ordinance to give effect to various relief measures related to income tax and GST compliance in view of COVID-19 outbreak.
01/04/2020 Indian government announced that there is no shortage of medicines in the country to combat COVID-19 outbreak.
25/03/2020 India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions came into force at midnight local time (18:30 GMT) and will be enforced for 21 days.
23/03/2020 Millions of people across India, including in major cities, have been placed under lockdown until the end of the March as efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country intensify.
15/04/2020 More than 100 checkpoints in the Greater Jakarta area are set to be erected by Tuesday evening (Apr 14), as the satellite towns surrounding the capital city rolled out their own measures in the fight against COVID-19.
24/03/2020 Indonesia produces chloroquine, anti-malaria drug tested as possible treatment for Covid-19.
As at 1 April 2020, businesses in Iran are going through a very challenging time, with very little cash to maintain sustainability. Certain relief programs have been adopted by the Government for Iranian enterprises. A three-month moratorium has been offered, to the businesses, on tax-related payments. A three-month moratorium on social security contributions (7% by workers and 23% by employers) is another measure adopted by the Government to provide relief. Additionally, all banks (public and private)have activated a financial relief programme to provide assistance to customers affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes offering a moratorium of up to three-months (extendable, given the situation) for monthly payments for loans and financing. The Government has already allocated 750,000 billion Rial (Iranian currency) to enterprises, who have not fired their employees (those with 2-year instalments and at 13% interest rate). Additionally, the Government allocated 50,000 billion Rial to the unemployment insurance fund.
Enterprise Ireland (Government organisation) has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Enterprise Ireland is working with all government stakeholders to ensure that businesses are prepared and informed on the most up-to-date advice and supports available.
Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses - This government official page lists practical steps to be taken by affected businesses and government supports available including loans for microenterprises up to €50,000 each, €200m Working Capital Scheme, €200m Package for Enterprise Supports for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business, short-time work support, and unemployment payment.
Ibec, the Irish business and employers' organisation and member of IOE, is providing support and guidance to its members.
On 14 March 2020, the Italian Government and the social partners signed the “Shared Protocol for the regulation of measures to combat and contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the workplace”. The agreement reviews various issues (from access to buildings of the company to personal hygiene precautions, from the management of common areas to internal movements, to the management of the symptomatic employee) and provides a set of rules that employers and employees are required to follow to avoid contagion in a number of areas.
Rome started distributing funds from the fiscal rescue package of up to €25bn. The main measures are to provide €1.15bn for the Italian health system and €1.5bn for its civil protection agency, which is in charge of organising the country’s coronavirus response. Other measures are expected to include one-off payments of €500 per person for the self-employed, government support for companies paying redundancy payments to their staff, a freeze on any worker lay-offs, and a cash bonus for Italians still working during the lockdown.
The package is also expected to include loan guarantees for businesses hit by the crisis and a moratorium on loan and mortgage payments. However, the exact details of how these will be structured have not yet been made public. There will also be financial support for Italian families that have children at home, and for taxi drivers and postal workers who are continuing to work providing urgent services during the outbreak. The Italian government would provide support to Alitalia, the national carrier.
Confindustria, Italian IOE member, has a dedicated page on the virus response (in Italian).
07/04/2020 Japanese central government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the growing spread of COVID-19 comes after weeks of intense pressure on the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by many local leaders. But while some things will change with the declaration, others will remain essentially the same.
Countries wishing to evacuate their nationals should do so by Wednesday 25 March 2020
People who defy self-quarantine will be forcefully quarantined and thereafter charged in a court of law. Those coming into the country between now and Wednesday 25 March will undergo mandatory quarantine at a government designated facility at their own cost
All church and mosques services are suspended. Funerals will only include family members
Stay home County emergency teams have been formed
Suspension of all flights from Wednesday 25 March with exception of Cargo Flights
Effective 24 March all bars are closed
Chamas, Birthdays and other gatherings also suspended
Police to enforce distance directives in public service vehicles
23 March 2020: President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the approval of Google Loon Services in Kenya to enable universal 4G data coverage in the country, to foster communication and enable Kenyans to retain and enhance remote access to the Offices and Enterprises. The new development will enable Kenya to retain her competitive advantages in ICT and innovation in the midst of the current crisis; while at the same time laying the foundation for greater expansion once the current health challenge is contained. Find more information at the Office of the Kenyan President: https://www.president.go.ke/2020/03/23/kenya-approves-roll-out-of-google-loon-4g-to-mitigate-coronavirus-work-disruptions/
22 March 2020: Kenyatta National Hospital has opened its first telemedicine technology centre, , for patients to describe symptoms to a doctor, who then determines whether they need COVID-19 testing
Kenya's largest teleco, Safaricom, will implement a fee-waiver on East Africa’s leading mobile-money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the physical exchange of currency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. To encourage the use of digital payments over cash, Safaricom will also allow SMEs to increase their daily M-Pesa transaction limits from 70,000 Kenyan Schillings to 150,000 (≈ $700 to $1,500).
26/03/2020 Kuwait launches a dedicated Covid-19 website with updates and link to contribute to the "Fund of facing the Emerging Coronavirus".
25/03/2020 Daily updates on the situation in the country and overview of information.
22/04/2020 As at 19 April 2020, Malaysia declared movement control order (MCO) initially for 18 to 28th March and 2nd and 3rd phases of MCO up to 28th April 2020. Most places of employment are not allowed to operate except for essential industries. The Government came up with stimulus packages to assist and stabilise the job market. The total stimulus package announced in two phases amounted to RM270 billion. Of direct assistance is the employment retention programme where government allocated RM120 million to assist employees placed on unpaid leave for minimum of 30 days. A payment of RM 600 will be made to such employees.
The wage subsidy programme is for employees with wages of not more than RM4,000 per month. Subsidy ranges from RM 120 to 600 per month limited to not more than 299 employees. For employees listed in the WSP are not allowed to cut pay, put employees on unpaid leave and not to retrench.
MEF had proposed that employers be allowed to operate in stages starting from 30% of capacity and gradually be increased. The govrnment agreed to allow more sectors of the economy to operate but must adhere to stringent SOP to control the spread of Covid-19. Before employers are allowed to resume operations, employees must undergo Covid-19 screenings. The government agreed with MEF proposals that the Covid-19 screening be bourne by social security organisations. Social security organisations also agreed to categorise Covid-19 infection as employment disease.
14/04/2020 Joint memorandum by MEF on issues and recommendations following announcement of second economic stimulus package (PRIHATIN).
07/04/2020 Malaysia has approved MYR 10 billion (USD 2.3 billion) to help companies suffering amid the coronavirus outbreak.
24/03/2020 The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has hit out at a directive under the movement control order (MCO) requiring full payment throughout the two-week period for employees in non-essential services, saying this is unfair to employers.
23/03/2020 The Malaysian government will channel additional funds worth RM600 million (US$135.28 million) to the Health Ministry to support its efforts in combating COVID-19, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.
To assist businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is allocating RM3.3 billion of financing facilities under BNM’s Fund for SMEs to provide support for SMEs in sustaining business operations, safeguard jobs and encourage domestic investments.
Le report des délais de paiement d’échéances sociales et/ou fiscales (INPS, Impôts) jusqu’à la fin des mesures gouvernementales relatives au Covid-19 ;
Le report de la date de dépôt des états financiers de l’exercice 2019 et du paiement de l’impôt sur les sociétés y afférant de trois mois ;
L’application, dans les situations les plus difficiles, de remises d’impôts directs pouvant être décidée dans le cadre d'un examen - au cas par cas - des demandes formulées en ce sens ;
La suspension des contrôles fiscaux et d’organismes sociaux en cours et l’abandon des pénalités et majorations envisagées.
28/04/2020 The Malta Employers' Association (MEA), IOE member, has conducted a survey of its members on the effects of Covid-19 on business. The media statement can be found here and the survey results here.
14/04/2020 The Malta Employers’ Association (MEA), IOE member, has prepared an Employers’ Guide to dealing with Covid-19.
MEA has also been providing regular and timely updates to its members:
27/03/2020 Prime Minister of Mongolia U. Khurelsukh delivered an address to the people and entities of Mongolia to introduce the government's new measures concerning the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notre membre, la Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), défend la voix des entreprises et leurs intérêtsau sein des instances officielles en proposant des mesures destinées à préserver les emplois et les entreprises. En plus, la CGEM a crée une platform pour informer ces membres sur les mesures d'accompagnement face au COVID-19.: https://coronavirus.cgem.ma/
Our member, the Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM) has created a Business Continuity Plan for business use in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic (in French): Plan de Continuité d’Activité (PCA) à l’usage des entreprises face à la pandémie : ici
17 March 2020: The government has decreed the establishment of a special fund for the management of the coronavirus pandemic. A budget of approximately 10 billion Dh will be allocated to this fund which will be reserved to cover the expenses of upgrading the medical system, adapting infrastructures and additional items to be acquired urgently.
24/03/2020 Myanmar confirmed its first cases of the deadly novel coronavirus late on Monday (March 23) after weeks of increasing scepticism over the under-developed Southeast Asian nation's claims to be free of the disease.
Namibian Employers' Federation - NEF
The Namibian tourism industry is hardest hit by COVID-19 and the expectation is that it will soon have a negative ripple effect on all sectors.
Many events and gatherings are being cancelled in light of the Government’s announcements on Saturday, e.g. cancellation of sporting events, the mining expo and many others that will similarly have a negative impact on the Namibian economy.
Government made the following announcements:
No inbound or outbound flights from Germany, Ethiopia or Doha
Closure of schools for four weeks
Independence celebrations for 21 March called off
All travel by Government officials suspended
The NEF received enquiries from its members about staff management during the pandemic and we are sending out guidelines with interpretations of our Labour Act
The NEF distributed the business continuity management plan as prescribed by the ILO to all members
Many companies are circulating guidelines on preventative measures
The Dutch government has decided to implement a series of economic measures designed not only to protect health, but also to protect people's jobs and livelihoods and to minimise the impact on self-employed people, small and medium-sized enterprises and major companies. The measures will ensure that companies are able to pay their employees' wages, grant a bridging arrangement for self-employed people and allow companies to hang on to their money through relaxed tax provisions, allowances and supplemental lines of credit.
15/04/2020 New Zealand jobless rate could hit 13% even if lockdown ends next week, modelling suggests.
29/03/2020 New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus-related death, a woman in her 70s on the west coast of South Island.
27/03/2020 The Ministry of Health is seeking expressions of interest from health and care professionals who are able and willing to work for a limited amount of time as part of the national strategic approach to managing COVID-19.
24/03/2020 The BusinessNZ Network is supporting businesses and operating a nationwide AdviceLine that is available to all businesses, not just members of the Network.
23/03/2020 New Zealand to move to Alert 4. Nationwide lockdown will begin at midnight on Wednesday for next four weeks. Schools and restaruants are to be closed, except for essential services only.
Analyses by NECA predict massive job losses in the country more direct intervention is not implemented. NECA suggests for support to employers such as:
the establishment of a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where Government pays up to 60% of private sector salaries until June as long as workers are not laid off, as done in other climes i.e. UK, France, and Denmark, etc would reduce the negative impact on businesses and slow the rate of job loss,
direct wage or income support,
short-term work schemes,
tax credits or tax deferrals and,
moratoriums on loan payments
NECA has been meeting with State governors, especially in Lagos to agree on protocols to reduce the risks involved in relaxing the lockdown.
Government and private responses: Led by Aliko Dangote, the richest person in Africa, major business leaders in Nigeria, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, have contributed over 60 million USD to support Federal government initiatives to fight the COVID19 pandemic, through the newly formed Coalition Against Coronavirus – CACOVID.
Lockdown regulations: The Government has announced a lockdown of major cities: Lagos, Abuja and Ogun from 30 March 2020
Information for business and employers: The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released a Guidance for Employers and Businesses in Nigeria which reviews what Covid-19 is, how can employers can reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19, and what employers and businesses can do to protect the health and safety of staff.
The first measure taken by the Government is direct financial support of liquidity to micro, small and medium-sized companies by the Development Bank of Northern Macedonia. A total of € 5.7 million has been provided to directly lend to companies due to insolvency, i.e. companies whose economic activity has been affected by coronavirus. Each company, depending on the number of employees, can receive from 3 to 30 thousand euros. Loans are interest-free, with an interest rate of 0 percent, the grace period will be 6 months and the repayment period is 2 years.
The second measure relates to support for companies in the payroll sector. Employers have therefore made efforts to facilitate the payment of salaries during this period of uncertainty and provide subsidies to employees in companies from the sectors of tourism, transport, catering and other affected companies for the months of April, May and June of 2020, with a subsidy on contributions per employee up to 50% of the average salary paid in 2019.
The government has been fully mobilized to address the economic consequences of the crisis which will be inevitable. Therefore, employers will continue with dialogue and negotiations to evaluate the effects of existing measures and to find new ones. The government is also starting active talks with international financial institutions and partners to assess the opportunities and challenges in the financial markets and how they can be dealt with or even use them in the interest of the domestic economy.
07/04/2020 Norway relaxes Coronavirus restrictions, but event ban continues.
01/04/2020 The Norwegian government has taken strong measures to fight Covid-19;
“closed” the borders and banned foreigners from entering the country/to be put in quarantine for 14 days, goods will still be allowed to enter
closed all schools, kindergartens and universities until 13 April,
closed bars, restaurants etc. but shops are still allowed to be open
banned sectors treating people form operating (hairdressers, opticians, dentists etc)
closed down non essential public offices for public availability.
On March 16 a settlement was presented that includes, among others, the following measures:
The employer’s period for paying the wages during layoff is reduced from 15 to 2 days.
The employer period for sick pay and care allowance is reduced to 3 days. This will mean a lot to businesses in a very demanding situation. Employers do not receive an extra bill when the workforce disappears. This applies to sick pay related to the coronary pandemic.
Self-employed and freelancers receive sickness benefits from day 3, and care money from day 4.
The period of care money (for parents staying home with children home from school) is doubled.
Deferred VAT payment. Payment of the employer’s contribution on May 15 and VAT on April 15 this year is postponed. The 12 percent VAT rate is reduced to 8 percent. Along with deferred payment of other taxes, these are crucial measures in a period when companies have limited revenues. We also have to gradually clarify whether companies can be exempted from any taxes and fees.
Apprentices now receive an income hedge on par with apprenticeship pay.
Self-employed persons also receive an income hedge equivalent to 80 per cent of average income for the past three years, limited up to 600.000 NOK/60.000 EUR.
Employees receive a “full salary” for 20 days upon termination. The cost is distributed with two days to the employer, and then 18 days from the state with pay, but limited up to 600.000 NOK/ 60.000 EUR. This will ease the burden on many jobs.
In addition there will be more credit available;
Loan and guarantee schemes for business on a total of NOK 100 billion (EUR 10 billion)(more if needed) to help ensure that the companies get the credit they need. The credit will be handled through the ordinary banks.
The Norwegian central bank has lowered its interest rate to 1% and reduced the capital demands for banks to free capital for businesses
25/03/2020 Oman's Ministry of Health issues daily statements and updates on Covid-19. As of today, there are 99 registered cases.
21/03/2020 Pakistan has suspended all international flights for two weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus, as governments across densely populated south Asian countries ramp up their efforts to contain the virus.
Papua New Guinea
22/04/2020 As at 22 April 2020, Papua New Guinea are late starters of the COVID 19 pandemic and just starting to feel its real impact. The Federation is keen and interested to learn to help with steering businesses in the country through this difficult time. The government has declared a State of Emergency, coupled with a lock down. Businesses are struggling to keep essential services functioning.
23/03/2020 Papua New Guinea will enter into a two-week state of emergency on Tuesday after the country confirmed its first case of Covid-19, as the Pacific region recorded its first death from the virus.
14/04/2020 Joint statement from employers and workers on how to better implement the Dole Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
27/03/2020 Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has thanked the Congress for acting quickly during its break on a legislative measure empowering President Duterte to tap all available state resources to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and provide a multibillion-peso economic relief package primarily for the 18 million poor and low-income households most affected by this global health crisis.
26/03/2020 The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), IOE member, prepared an overview document of the COVID-19 situation in the country and adaptation measures of the private sector coordinated by ECOP.
31/03/2020 In support of the Employers of Poland IOE President addressed an official letter to the President of the Republic of Poland concerning a recent official government Act.
30/03/2020 The Polish Parliament has adopted two new articles (Articles 46 and 85), proposed by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PIS) in the context of the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield – a regulatory tool for adapting to the current situation. These new measures are being protested in an official statement (English translation) by Polish social partners, including Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy RP) – IOE member, as they infringe on social dialogue rights. A Polish constitutional law professor also published an opinion on the new laws and the Polish Press Agency (PAP) in Brussels has issued official coverage.
27/03/2020 The Polish Government has put in place a number of measures in response to the ongoing situation.
07/04/2020 The Portuguese Confederation of Employers (CIP), IOE member, releases official statement on recent Council of Europe measures (in Portuguese).
07/04/2020 The Portuguese Confederation of Employers (CIP), IOE member, releases official statement on fiscal stimulus, industrial measures and European-level coordination.
04/04/2020 Commission approves €13 billion Portuguese schemes to support economy in coronavirus outbreak.
26/03/2020 Ministry of Public Health of Qatar conducted yesterday the first workshop for national volunteering campaign “For Qatar” which was launched to support the state’s efforts in combating COVID-19.
23/03/2020 To limit the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announces the extension of the exchange and refund period for goods and merchandises.
Republic of Maldives
21/03/2020 National Federation of Maldives Employers (NFME), IOE member, has welcomed the government's MVR 2.5 billion economic recovery package introduced to mitigate the losses caused to the country's economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
06/04/2020 The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection issued a set of recommendations in order to ensure the health and safety of workers and to support the activity of the employers. These measures mainly concern: flexibilization of the working time, working from home, teleworking.
In order to limit the spread of the virus and to ensure the protection and support of the workers, the workers can benefit from the following measures:
the provisions of Law no. 19/2020 granting free days to parents for the supervision of children up to 12 years old, in the situation of temporary closure of educational establishments – this piece of legislation allows parents to receive paid days off for the supervision of children, during the period when schools are closed, as well as granting days off to workers caring for people with severe disabilities.
the medical leave of the employees in quarantine, which is not cumulated with the medical leave granted for other conditions. The gross monthly amount of the quarantine allowance is 75% of the calculation base established according to the law and is fully supported by the budget of the single national health insurance fund.
continue to grant the insertion incentive and the support allowance provided by art. 7, and art. 32 paragraph (5) of the Government Emergency Ordinance no.111/2010 regarding the days off and allowance for parental leave, so that these rights do not cease if the parent following the measures generated by the state of emergency is in situations of suspension or even termination of the employment relationship due to restructuring or restricting the activity of the employer.
granting from the unemployment insurance budget, during the period of suspension of the employment contract at the initiative of the employer, in case of temporary interruption of its activity, of the allowance that the employees benefit from, which is in an amount of at least 75% of the basic salary corresponding to the job, paid from the salary fund, but not more than 75% of the gross average wage stipulated by the law on the state social insurance budget for 2020 (technical unemployment).
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is carrying out a dialogue with the social partners (National Tripartite Council for Social Dialogue) and other competent authorities in order to identify other areas that can be addressed.
10/04/2020 Overview of measures and situation in the country with timeline.
Le secteur du tourisme, de l’hôtellerie, de la restauration, des agences de voyages & des services aéroportuaires :
Plus de 90% des entreprises fermées depuis mars 2020
Prévisions de chiffre d’affaires avril-mai-juin 2020 : 0%
Impacts sur l’emploi avril-mai-juin 2020 : 100% des emplois directs menacés
Le secteur de l’industrie :
Coût élevé de la protection sanitaire
Baisse du chiffre d’affaires
Le secteur de l’économie numérique :
Baissedu chiffre d’affaires entre 50% et 80%.
Baisse du chiffre d’affaires à l’export de 100 %.
Difficultés de trésorerie pour la prise en charge des salaires, loyers, etc.
Le secteur des bâtiments & travaux publics:
Baisse du chiffre d’affaires de 10% à 20%.
Arrêt de travail pour 25% des journaliers
Le secteur du pétrole & gaz :
Arrêt ou baisse des approvisionnements aéroportuaires.
Baisse des ventes avec les restrictions de circulation et le couvre-feu.
Augmentation des difficultés de trésorerie liée à la dette
Baisse du chiffre d’affaires en moyenne de 20%.
Le secteur du transport maritime, de la manutention, du transit & transport routier de marchandises :
Ralentissement du débarquement des marchandises en raison des contrôles sanitaires obligatoires des bateaux.
Baisse du chiffre d’affaires de 10% à 20% liée au trafic international de marchandises
Augmentation des frais de magasinage et surestaries pour les clients.
Le secteur financier :
Forte baisse des mouvements des comptes d’entreprises impactées.
Baisse des dépôts des entreprises impactées
Le secteur des cliniques privées :
Retards de livraison de fournitures de matériels médicaux importés.
Cas de fermeture de cliniques suite à la présence de malades contaminés.
Accroissement de la dette des Ipm et Assurances-santé relative à la prise en charge médicale des patients.
Le secteur du gardiennage :
Stabilité du chiffre d’affaires
Réduction de postes d’intérimaires (5% à 10%).
Le CNP examine également les :
Premières conséquences économiques, sociales et financières de la crise sanitaire Covid-19 dans les entreprises
Mesures urgentes d’ordre social, d’ordre financier, d’accompagnement,d’ordre fiscal et douanier, ainsi comme mesures relatives aux procédures administratives et de soutien aux entreprises souhaitées en fonction des difficultés de fonds de roulement, des baisses de chiffre d’affaires et d’arrêts d’activités.
Contributions des groupements professionnels et entreprises à la solidarité nationale
Vision du CNP sur les perspectives de relance économique :
Accélérer la mise en oeuvre du PSE et des directives présidentielles relatives à la valorisation socio-culturelle et la protection implicite du « Made in Sénégal ». Ceci a pour objectif principal la réduction du déficit structurel de la balance commerciale et celle des capitaux.
Mettre en place un mécanisme de mobilisation des ressources financières et de l’épargne nationale (trésor public, institutions financières, entreprises, ménages) pour une présence significative des nationaux aux côtés de l’Etat dans les secteurs stratégiques et porteurs de croissance du PSE.
Revoir avec la BCEAO l’application des règles prudentielles de Bâle et l’affectation de nos avoirs extérieurs, au regard de la structuration de notre secteur productif, des besoins de financement du PSE et des concours financiers nécessaires aux entreprises.
Le document inclue aussi :
Un guide pour la prévention et la gestion sanitaires du Covid-19 en milieu professionnel
Des informations concernant les articles du Code du Travail relatifs aux procédures de chômage technique et de modification du contrat de travail
Les ordonnances présidentielles Covid-19
Des mesures fiscales et financières du programme de résilience économique et sociale
Le dispositif financier de soutien de l’activité économique de la Banque Centrale des Etats de L’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO)
Un dispositif de report et de suspension d’échéances de crédit de l’Association Professionnelle des Banques et Etablissements Financiers du Sénégal (APBEFS)
22/04/2020 As at 20 April 2020, two key measures affecting Employers in Singapore:
From 8 April to 4 May Government has imposed what is called a circuit breaker (CB). During this period all workplaces must close and workers work from home, except for essential services (e.g. healthcare, transportation, restaurants, etc). Food purchased must be taken away and eaten at home. SNEF is categorised as offering an essential service.
During the CB, the Government will pay to employers Job Support which is pegged to 75% of the gross wages of employees earning up to S$4600 a month.
06/04/2020 Singapore has told 20,000 foreign workers to stay in their dormitories for 14 days as coronavirus cases increase in the city state.
03/04/2020 The Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation to say that the government is introducing new 'circuit breaker' measures in order to slow the community spread of Covid-19. The resounding message: stay at home and leave only for essential services.
23/03/2020 Singapore closes its borders to short-term visitors and some foreign labourers from 11:59pm (15:59 GMT) on Monday to help the limit the spread of the disease.
Those exempted from the lockdown include health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers, and other persons necessary for the country’s response to the pandemic. This also includes those involved in the production, distribution, and supply of food and basic goods. Essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunication services, laboratory services and the provision of medical and hygiene products.
During this period, clinics, pharmacies, food-stores and hospitals will remain open.
Government responses: The government has stated that the Oppenheimer and Rupert Foundations will provide R1 billion (over $56 million) each to assist small businesses and their employees affected by COVID-19.
Every website with a domain name that ends in .za – including every company website that uses the .co.za suffix, every organisation in .org.za, and every academic institution in .ac.za – must link to the South African government’s Covid-19 portal at sacoronavirus.co.za.
Information for business and employers: IOE member Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has created a business support and guidance hub to share best practice, reduce risk wherever possible, and implement practical measures to ease the hardships caused by this global catastrophe. The aim of the hub is to better coordinate activities among the various interventions and ensure collaboration with government to use business resources and capacity to support public sector initiatives.
22/04/2020 Government report on how the country responded to the pandemic using information and communications technology.
As at 22 April 2020, despite Korean government’s efforts to absorb shocks to the job market the COVID-19 pandemic has given, such as support for paid leave and increased wage support for small businesses, there have been signs of worsening employment. Therefore, the government does its utmost to come up with measures to support business and help retain jobs as follows:
Help vulnerable groups in the labor market
1) Workers on unpaid leave and on leave of absence: Emergency livelihood aid
2) The dependent self-employed, Freelancers: Reduction of application requirements for employment subsidy
3) Small business owners: Recovery assistance for damages caused by Covid-19, support for small business owners to get back on their feet
4) Youth: Reduced requirements for Youth employment subsidy
5) Elderly: Advanced payment of employment promotion subsidy for the aged
Support for businesses hit by social distancing
1) Supports for tourism-dependent businesses, telecommunications businesses and film industries
- Expand the rent cut for airport tenants
- Give a 100 percent cut in communications costs to small businesses suffering after they were visited by the infected
- Provide 420 billion won worth of support to mobile phone retailers and communications facilities installation businesses
- Expand investment in 5G by 50 percent to 4 trillion won, which will be made in the first half
- Give a 100 percent cut in the film development levy, applied retroactively from February
2) Tax and financial support to retailers, airlines, sport industries and fresh food suppliers.
- 30 percent cut in traffic generating charges imposed on large retailers
- 25 percent cut in road and river occupancy taxes charged to businesses
- Airlines to be exempt from apron charges
- Increase special loans for sport industries by 30 billion won to 50 billion won, as well as one year repayment deferral for general loans
- Storage cost support for meat and seafood suppliers as demand plummets
1) Provide small businesses with liquidity: A total of 12 trillion won to be spent on emergency funding for business operation and low interest rate loans (1.5%, lower than ordinary rates by an average of 2.3% points)
2) Provide special guarantees on SME and small business loans: A total of 5.5 trillion won worth of guarantees to be provided through Korea Technology Finance Corporation, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and local credit guarantee foundations
3) Provide a 100 percent loan guarantee worth 3 trillion won for small merchants
02/04/2020 South Korea's health authorities, MOHW (Ministry of Health and Welfare under Minister Park Neung-hoo), in partnership with its affiliated institution KHIDI (Korea Health Industry Development Institute under President Kwon Deok-cheol), have initiated to offer prompt online updates on a list of Korean manufacturers and exporters specializing in COVID-19 diagnostics devices, starting from 16:00PM on April 1, 2020, through a website called "Medical Devices Industry Information Platform." (http://www.khidi.or.kr/device)
24/03/2020 The Federation of Korean Industries and market research firm Mono Research recently conducted a survey of 150 foreign-invested companies each with at least 100 employees in South Korea. The results indicate that close to half of foreign-invested companies consider curtailing business in South Korea.
23/03/2020 South Korea has reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since infection rates peaked four weeks ago, fuelling hope Asia's worst outbreak outside China may be abating.
KEF led the tripartite declaration along with the FKTU (Federation of Korean Trade Unions) and ESLC (Economic Social Labor Commission) to cooperate and overcome the crisis in response to the economic recession caused by the spread of the COVID-19.
Made proposals to the Government, such as expanding loans to the affected companies, postponement or partial exemption of social insurances and taxes, and deregulations related to business management in order to minimize possible economic damage caused by COVID-19.
Planning to conduct a survey with companies regarding their management difficulties and propose to the Government, for example, adaptive measures such as introducing flexible working hour system and home working, lay-offs due to management difficulties and expanding support for paid leaves.
20/06/2020 The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs launches CONECTA International Mobility, an information service to facilitate international travel for business owners and workers. Information in Spanish and English.
13/04/2020 Coronavirus: Spain begins to ease lockdown to revive economy.
Measures taken by the Spanish Government
Spain’s Government has announced a €100bn plan of state loan guarantees for business aimed at ensuring liquidity, especially for small and medium-sized companies. Other government commitments would amount to €17bn. The whole package, including private money triggered by the loan guarantees, would total €200bn. Mr. Sánchez announced a moratorium on mortgage payments for people whose income has been hit by the crisis and a similar moratorium for utility bills. It is also easier for people to be temporarily suspended from work rather than laid off, and to retain all of their benefits. Some social security payments will be suspended and there will be €600m to help vulnerable people and those depending on social services.
CEOE's views on main labour-related measures contained in the latest Royal Decrees
According to CEOE, a series of measures have not been negotiated with the social partners. These do not facilitate the survival of companies and interfere with the organisational capacity of companies and, therefore, with the freedom of enterprise, such as the prohibition of individual and collective redundancies for causes related to COVID-19 and the temporary suspension of employment contracts (ERTE). One of the Royal Decrees, in particular, sets in motion the entire inspection and sanction apparatus, presuming the unjustified and fraudulent use of ERTES and thus spreading a stigmatising vision of the employer.
Social partners have not been involved in formulating other measures, such as in RDL 10/2020. This one foresees the cessation of non-essential activities and the creation of a "recoverable remuneration advantage" for employees who do not go to work, who will continue to receive the same remuneration (paid by the company) and will have to compensate for the hours not worked at a later stage after negotiating with the company. This Royal Decree regulating the sectors that had to continue working and those that had to close, which came into force on 30 March, was only published in the Official Bulletin on Sunday 29 March at 23:37, leaving companies neither time to react nor time to organise.
A compilation of CEOE’s and CEPYME’s press releases on government measures is available here. These press releases call for additional measures to prevent company closings following rising unemployment, strengthening the European response to the pandemic, among others. Other releases from CEOE can be found on their website here.
CEOE’s publications analysing the current employment situation of Spain
This includes proposals for short-term layoffs, where employers' wage costs could be halved but the employee would still receive more than 90 percent of their salary, and the state would step in to cover the difference.
For companies that are particularly badly hit, the government said it has allocated 1 billion francs for direct financial assistance or bridging. Small and medium-sized business with financial bottlenecks can access up to 580 million francs in guaranteed bank loans.
24/03/2020 Taiwan's government announced 20 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 215.
22/04/2020 As at 22 April 2020, Thailand initial measures to help companies, especially SMEs survive COVID-19 crisis are as follows:
1) Low interest loans (at 2% interest for a period of 2 years, not over 20 million Baht per customer) in the total amount of 150 billion Baht.
2) Suspending the principal, reducing the interest rate for the debts of the Government Saving Bank and Government Housing Bank.
3) The Bank of Thailand has eased the rules for granting commercial bank loans.
4) The Social Security Fund will provide a credit line (at 3%, for a period of 3 years) in the amount of 30 billion Baht.
5) Reducing withholding tax fromade for interest expenses that occur between 1 April, 2020 and 31 December, 2020,
7) Allowing SMEs to deduct 3 times the salary expenses paid in April 2020 to July 2020. For employees who are insured under the law on the Social Security Fund and receive wages of not more than 15,000 Baht per person per month.
8) Dissemination of VAT refunds to domestic entrepreneurs within 15 days after filing the form.
9) Refund the deposit for electricity usage.
10) Reducing contributions to the Social Security Fund by employers and employees.
11) Government agencies to reduce rental fees for state property.
15/04/2020 Thailand has extended a ban on incoming passenger flights until the end of April in a bid to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, the country's aviation body said on Wednesday (Apr 15).
Situation Covid-19 au Togo : 65 cas confirmés dont 39 cas actifs, 23 guéris et 3 décès
Secteurs les plus affectés par la crise :
le secteur hôtelier
Les mesures sociales et économiques prises par le gouvernement togolais :
Mise en place d’un fonds national de solidarité et de relance économique de 400 milliards de francs CFA dont 100 milliards pour le secteur de la santé
Etat d’urgence sanitaire pour une période de 3 mois
Mise en place d’un couvre-feu entre 20 heures et 6 heures
Création d’une force spéciale anti-pandémie de 5 000 hommes chargée de veiller au respect des décisions prises dans le cadre de la lutte contre le Covid-19
Lancement d’un programme de transfert monétaire aux populations vulnérables
Gratuité pour 3 mois de l’eau et l’électricité pour les tranches sociales
Limitation du nombre de passagers dans les transports en commun
La réaction du secteur privé :
Communiqué envoyé par le CNP-Togo aux chefs d'entreprises concernant le respect des mesures barrières et la mise à disposition des équipments au personnel, ainsi que le respect de la distanciation sociale
Questionnaire mis à disposition des entreprises pour recueillir leurs préoccupations liées à l’impact du Covid-19 (sur un total de 107 entreprises ayant repondu 31% sont dans le secteur hotelier, 18% dans le commerce et 7% dans les transports; toutes ses entreprises sont touchées et certaines sont deja en faillite)
Mise en place par le CNP-TOGO d’un système d’évaluation continue de la crise et de ses impacts sur l’économie
Elaboration d’un mémorandum pour une concertation avec l’Etat, le CNDS et les banques
01/04/2020 The government has released a package called "Economic Stability Shield" that refers 6 different areas, which are Work and Social Life, Health, Industry, Trade, Finance and Banking. On Industry :
Rent payments are cancelled 2 months for Technopark businesses.
Payment of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization for SMEs are postponed until 30 July.
Financial support of 6 million TL will be provided for the firms that produce domestic disinfection, protective suit, glasses and masks.
20/03/2020: The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations gave a press statement on the social economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, especially as it pertains to the employment relationship. Amongst other measures, employers are to provide preventative training to their workers and labour externalization to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Somalia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Iraq have been suspended for 32 days from 18th March 2020.
22/03/2020 Support for businesses -The package of measures include: Job Retention Scheme; deferring VAT and Income Tax payments; Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs; business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses; small business grant funding for business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief; Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs and; a lending facility to support liquidity among larger firms.
This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on: the COVID-19; how to help prevent spread of COVID-19; what to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings; and eligibility for sick pay.
The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to provide assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury in an eligible disaster area. Congress approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans specifically to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Venezuelan IOE member, Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela (FEDECAMARAS), published an official business response plan to adapt to the current situation and mitigate the negative impacts.
Lockdown regulations: Closure of Bars, Casinos, Restaurants and some International airports.
Main sectors affected:
Tourism and Hospitality Industry. The tourism industry has experienced cancellation of bookings earlier made and clients have asked for refunds.
Companies in the import and export business. Being a landlocked country, there is the issue of raw materials, that is, cargo moving in from countries where there are lockdowns has severely affected the supply chain .
Government responses: IOE member, the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) requested the Minister of Labour and Social Security to call for a special Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC)Meeting for social dialogue on how employers will handle the issues concerning workers in their entities. The Minister of Labour responded favourably and called for a special TCLC which took place last week on Thursday the 26th March 2020.
The TCLC resolved as follows :
Employers in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector should send their employees on forced leave for the month of April 2020. Where such employers have found themselves in a situation where they cannot afford to pay basic pay, they should apply to the Minister to send labour officers to the entities to assess the inability and if confirmed such companies will be granted an exemption from paying basic pay and instead have their employee go on unpaid leave.
For the rest of the companies where so far there is still a flow of revenue into the business, to place employee on paid leave and that this leave can be extended even to employee who do not have leave days and that such leave days will be recovered from them at any point that they will accrue some leave days.
Any company outside the Tourism and Hospitality sector that feels negatively impacted and is not able to pay staff salaries to apply to the Minister of Labour to be allowed to place their employees on forced leave.
To avoid complete closure of companies, essential workers to remain to run the offices but where there are issues of manufacturing, employees can be rotated in terms of taking leave.
To avoid redundancies as it has its only procedures such as notifying the work or the representative of the work at least 2 months before an employer gets on it.
Employer response: ZFE called on the government to consider putting the following measures in place to give relief to industry:
Deferment of all penalties and interest on late payments of statutory taxes until the situation gets better,
Suspension of wage negotiations
Payment of local debt by the Government
Vat relief to industry
For the government to apply for funds from the World Bank that has announced availability of US$ 14 billion to low income countries in order to create an economic stimulus package.