Bulgarian Hotels and Restaurants Ask for State Aid Even if Shut Down Voluntarily
This transpired from the stand of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA). According to BHRA, the measures proposed for helping the COVID-hit businesses are not sufficient.
They made calculations which show that given the aid amounting to BGN 24 a day (€ 12) the workers on unpaid leave will receive BGN 480 (€ 240) a month for 20 workdays.
BHRA notes that this is well below the minimum of the insurance threshold in the sector, which is BGN 810 (€ 405). They also note that it is not clear who will pay health and other insurance to employers given this aid amount. The Association is strongly against the maximum term for the implementation of this measure (2 months) because the larger part of businesses had been already shut down for a longer time while other worked under serious restrictions.
The new compensatory allowance will be paid directly to the employers who are on unpaid leave owing to COVID-19 epidemic. Actually, BGN 24 is twice as big a compensation set against the minimum unemployment benefit. The money for this program comes from the EU funds and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs will decide who of the employers of what sectors may benefit from it.
The Association proposes that an infected staffer who tested positive for COVID-19 should be allowed to be under quarantine on their own volition and close down their facilities.
They underscore that currently many businesses had to downsize their personnel, hence the remaining employers have to work extra shifts every day and even one infected staffer puts under quarantine all others, so that a hotel or restaurant must be closed down to ensure safety of their customers.
BHRA insists that aids should be paid for a period of 14 to 28 days, according to the duration of mandatory quarantine while only employers who are not on sick leave and had not tested positive for COVID-19 but cannot perform their professional duties because of mandatory quarantine should be the aids’ beneficiaries.
They also propose to extend this measure over the part-time employer’s for whom the maximum aid should amount to 50% of the aid paid to those who work for full 8-hour time.
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