Croatia: Wage subsidies to help companies retain employees

Submitted by mmarquez on Thu, 04/23/2020 - 17:41
Body (02.04.2020) The Government elaborated the April package of measures through several conclusions and decisions, as well as legislative proposals, such as amendments to the General Tax Law, the Budget Execution Act, and the Accounting Act, which it referred to for urgent parliamentary procedure. The government has thus decided to increase support for entrepreneurs in difficulties in preserving jobs by paying workers' salaries from HRK 3,250 to HRK 4,000 net.

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The government will increase the support for entrepreneurs in difficulties in preserving jobs by paying workers' salaries from HRK 3,250 to HRK 4,000 net.

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The Government held its 222nd session today at the National and University Library in Zagreb. 27 points were discussed in the open part of the session.

The future depends on each individual, so stay home

Health Minister Vili Beros spoke about the current state and activities undertaken with regard to coronavirus in the Republic of Croatia.

Out of a total of 7,680 individuals tested, 936 tested positive for coronavirus, a percentage of 12.52 infected compared to those tested. He emphasized that thanks to a thoughtful and timely response in Croatia, we have a linear increase in the number of patients, which shows a high degree of adherence to the measures.

“The success so far in the fight against Covid-19 is the result of good preparation and consistent adherence to the prescribed measures of self-protection - hygiene, social distance and adherence to self-isolation measures when prescribed. A minority that denies the epidemic or fails to adhere to the prescribed measures endangers other members of society and nullifies the advantage we received in this match in a timely manner, "the
minister said


"We are ready for this epidemic and we are going through it in a team and in solidarity. So far, we have been able to prolong exponential growth, and the future depends on each individual. So stay home, keep your loved ones and all those who have to be healthy for us - our health, police, firefighters, civilians and services, "he said.

He also referred to the Zagreb earthquake and the fact that it did not cause an increase in numbers. infected.

"Despite the devastating earthquake and the situation great life jeopardize that befell the citizens of Zagreb and its surroundings increase in the number of infected has remained linear, which indicates a high level of compliance with the measure of our fellow citizens in the most difficult moments, and they use this opportunity to thank you."

The minister recalled that the coronavirus situation and the Zagreb earthquake were triggers for anxiety and depressive conditions, and urged citizens to call psychological assistance phones to help ease them.

The Minister also reminded that 12.5 tons of medical equipment for the fight against coronavirus arrived in Croatia at the end of March, and the Government provided an additional 20 tons of protective equipment.

All measures are provisional and will only be in force as necessary

Regarding the activities of the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic recalled that since the declaration of the epidemic, the Civil Protection Staff has made a total of 22 decisions limiting social gatherings, the operation of shops and certain services and holding events because it is social. distancing is the only way to slow the spread of the disease.

The minister said that 72,000 people from the health system are currently working to control the contagion, while 7,000 police officers are employed on a daily basis, who, in addition to their regular jobs, ensure the implementation of measures, decisions and instructions of the civil protection staff.

In addition, 1,000 firefighters, 5600 personnel, including Croatian Red Cross employees and volunteers, and 140 members of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service were hired.

There are currently 577 civil protection staffs at local levels with a total of 4,914 members, 2,140 commissioners engaged in the field, while 73 civil protection units with 3,324 members have been activated.

The minister added that members of the Croatian Army participated in suppressing the spread of the virus and repairing the effects of the earthquake, which, in accordance with the requirements of the headquarters, provided logistical assistance for the needs of equipping the premises for the accommodation of the diseased persons, and in cleaning the center of Zagreb after the earthquake.

"All measures in the fight against coronaviruses are temporary and will only be in force as needed," the minister stressed, adding that all measures "were taken according to the instructions of the profession solely because we strive to protect our citizens in the best possible way, based on available experience. In doing so, we make sure that any restrictions made to prevent the spread of coronaviruses and protect human lives are proportionate and
balanced. "

“It is encouraging that a large part of the population adheres to the prescribed measures, which at the same time produces results. Growth in the number of infected people is still linear, so for now we are pleased with the dynamics of the spread of the disease. To this end, we once again invite citizens to listen to the instructions of the competent authorities and to observe the prescribed measures. There are citizens who do not respect the measures, especially the self-isolation, is thus bear, "concluded the Minister.

The April package of measures to help the economy during the epidemic coronavirus

Government at its session on Thursday accepted the April package of measures to help the economy and Finance Minister Zdravko Maric He said that they show confidence in the entrepreneurs and that they are expected to respond in the same way.

"From all these measures, criteria and conditions we have laid down and the way we act, it is pretty clear what kind of high level of trust we have given to entrepreneurs in our relationships and we ask and ask them to respond in the same way. This is precisely the trust that is the key precondition for the realization of solidarity that we are all talking about, "said Minister Maric.

He added that everyone who can contribute in some way to economic activity, and thus to the financing of the state's functions, should give in to the principle solidarity has helped those who, through no fault of their own, cannot work.

He stressed that the Government will continue to do its best to help entrepreneurs, and that citizens can expect that in some of the next rounds and measures, the focus will be more on them and measures other than those currently available, such as the moratorium on credit. tax liabilities and measures.

Workers' wages compensation HRK 4,000 net

The Government elaborated the April package of measures through several conclusions and decisions, as well as legislative proposals, such as amendments to the General Tax Law, the Budget Execution Act, and the Accounting Act, which it referred to for urgent parliamentary procedure.

The government has thus decided to increase support for entrepreneurs in difficulties in preserving jobs or paying workers' salaries from HRK 3,250 to HRK 4,000 net. At the same time, the state takes over the benefits of HRK 4,000, which is approximately HRK 1,460 per employee, which is a total of HRK 5,460.

"It is not paid, I hope and I am convinced that many enterprises to their employees pay a higher wage of 4,000 kuna," said the minister.

He said that will be for all that was paid or will be paid grants of 3,250 kuna for March , be exempted from paying public contributions or contributions.

He also reminded that the amount of HRK 4,000 is related to the last round of tax reform in which the basic personal deduction was raised to HRK 4,000, which means that this amount is not in the 'scissors' of income tax, but contributions from and to the salary that the state will take on itself.

Recent data shows that the measure was requested by 66,000 entrepreneurs for more than 400,000 workers, and applications can be submitted by March 5th.

Minister Maric announced that the payment would be before Easter, that is, until April 10, and that principle would be maintained in May and June.

Tax exemption for the hardest hit; Invoicing VAT

The government has also opted for more measures in the area of ​​public benefits, especially income taxes, profits and contributions.

"If you are a coronavirus-stricken entrepreneur, and this is or will be seen in a year-over-year decline in revenue by more than 50 percent, you will be fully or partially exempted from paying income taxes, profits and contributions," the minister said. finance.

it will entrepreneurs with an annual income of less than 7.5 million, and there is 93 percent, which have revenue decline greater than 50 percent, to be fully exempted from payment of tax liabilities - income tax, income tax and social security contributions.

They Businesses generating more than HRK 7.5 million a year will be partially exempt from tax due to a decline in revenue.

This package also includes the measure by which, in the future, all large companies with a revenue of more than HRK 7.5 million will pay VAT only upon collection of invoices issued or payment made.

Until now, only small businesses (with annual income of up to HRK 7.5 million) paid for VAT bills, and now all other companies will have a delay in paying VAT until collection.

"The method of calculation as such remains, but during the special circumstances the state implements the principle that says - what is not charged goes to delay, what is paid and paid, of course, it is an obligation to pay into the state budget," the minister explained.

Minister Maric said that these measures clearly show the intention - exemption for direct taxes, such as income tax, profits and contributions, and VAT, as an indirect tax where the taxpayer is not the one who bears the ultimate burden of the obligation but someone else , the principle is - what you charged into the state budget and what you didn't go to delay.

The Minister added that this extension would also be introduced on VAT on imports and on all goods. "So far, this has been the case with the import of equipment and machinery, and now we are expanding on everything," he said.

He announced that VAT would be exempted from donations for equipment in this situation. "We will prescribe an exemption for donating equipment and equipment donated from imports," the minister added.

He also stressed that the measures being taken wanted to reduce administration.

According to the information he provided, so far, 62,086 entrepreneurs have filed for tax deferral, 59 percent of which have been processed.

Submission of financial statements extended until the end of June

Among the measures in the April package is the extension of the deadline for the submission of financial statements for 2019, from 30 April to 30 June.

In addition, Minister Maric added that all the related forms and the related calculation of income tax, which is related to it, are also delayed.

Entrepreneurs are also exempted from paying fines to publish financial statements.

In order to implement measures to assist the economy in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the Government has also entrusted Fina with the development and operation of a digital platform that will allow the electronic submission of applications for measures, the collection of information necessary for a decision to approve a measure, and the provision of a reporting system for monitoring the implementation of measures.

Legislative amendments for greater debt

In addition to the conclusions and legislative proposals made by Minister Maric at the session, the Government, from today's session, also submitted to the Parliament amendments to the State Budget Execution Act this year, which allow additional borrowing to remedy the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic and to implement it measure to assist the economy.

Namely, the Law on Execution of the Budget this year stipulated that the state could borrow up to HRK 26.86 billion on the domestic and foreign markets, but the proposed changes would enable the state to borrow above this amount in these new circumstances. Extra-budgetary borrowing is also possible, and the Government and the Minister of Finance will approve additional borrowing for them and the Minister of Finance.

Delayed payments and longer-term payments to farmers

Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic presented the Draft Bill on Amendments to the Agriculture Act, with the Draft Final Bill.

Making changes for urgent adoption will, as she explained, allow farmers to postpone payment on refund claims, and after the postponement, longer-term repayments by set deadlines - instead of up to a maximum of one year to three years.

"In these difficult times when they need to provide liquidity, they will also be able to avoid settling for direct payments so that they will be paid full direct payment and focus their debt on repayment over a longer period," she said.

Extension of validity of identity cards, driver's licenses and passports

The Government submitted amendments to the Law on Travel Documents of Croatian Nationals, the Law on Identity Card, the Law on Road Traffic Safety and the Law on the Procurement and Possession of Weapons of Citizens in an urgent parliamentary procedure.

"We are looking for every opportunity to minimize social contacts in this situation and reduce the need for contacts with officials in police departments, in connection with the fight against the proliferation of coronavirus", Minister Bozinovic said.

The minister said that, for example, last year in police departments and stations issued 565,524 identity cards and 284,559 driving licenses whose issue meant that people come twice to counter administrative tasks - when applying for a document and to retrieve documents made.

the validity of documents longer than 30 days from the date of termination of the epidemic

The amendments to the Identity Card Act therefore suggest that citizens in a situation arising from a coronavirus epidemic be allowed to use a previously issued identity card, which would be considered valid for a maximum of 30 days from the end of the epidemic, and would allow them to retrieve issued ID cards within the same period.

The amendment to the Road Traffic Safety Act proposes that drivers do not have to apply for a new driver's license for the duration of the epidemic, and for a maximum of 30 days from the date of the epidemic's termination, due to the termination of a previously issued driving license.

A previously issued driving license would be considered valid for a maximum of 30 days from the date the epidemic ceased, and it is proposed to enable citizens and to take certain actions that they are required to do within a specified period, such as checking out a vehicle that will not temporarily or permanently use it, , conducting extraordinary surveillance, etc., may also take a maximum of 30 days from the date of termination of the epidemic.

Technical and vehicle registration within prescribed deadlines for operation and traffic safety

"The proposed amendment to this law does not cover the technical aspect of vehicles, that is, testing the technical safety of vehicles and registration of vehicles, which citizens and economic operators will continue to perform within the prescribed deadlines for reasons of road traffic safety, or the efforts to participate in traffic technically inspected and correct vehicles. ", Said Minister Bozinovic.

The amendments to the Citizens' Acquisition and Possession of Weapons Act would allow gun owners to use previously issued firearms licenses, which would be considered valid for a maximum of 30 days from the date the epidemic ceased.

It also allows certain actions that they are required to take within the time limits prescribed by law, such as filing an application for a weapon for a purchased weapon, submitting a medical certificate or a certificate to have the technical knowledge and skills to use the weapon properly and knowing the regulations that apply. related to the possession of weapons, etc., shall be undertaken for a maximum of 30 days from the date of
termination of the epidemic.

The amendment to the Law on Travel Documents of Croatian Nationals proposes to allow citizens to use an expired passport for the duration of the epidemic, and for a maximum of 30 days from the date of termination of the epidemic, primarily for the return to Croatia of Croatian citizens whose passport expires during the epidemic. abroad.

Measures for the tourism sector

The government proposed amendments to four tourism laws and supplemented two regulations, with the aim of financially relieving the tourism sector and making it possible to take decisions quickly.

These are amendments to the laws on tourist boards and the promotion of Croatian tourism, the tourist tax, the provision of services in tourism and the hospitality industry.

In addition, the decree on the procedure, manner and conditions for obtaining a concession on tourist land in camps co-owned by the Republic of Croatia were amended, as well as a regulation on the manner, procedure and conditions for evaluating the value and sale of tourist land owned by a local self-government unit and the manner, procedure and conditions. for obtaining a concession on the remaining tourist land owned by the local government unit.

"In these circumstances, it is our interest to preserve the tourism sector, its jobs and provide liquidity, and we will continue to monitor the further development of the situation and respond as needed," said Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli, adding that the legislative and financial amendments are sought The

minister stressed that there is currently no tourist traffic at all, and it is uncertain when it will be, and that measures seek to help tourism.

"Now less than 10 percent of tourist capacity is working "Many jobs are threatened, which I hope, and with the measures of the Government, we will be able to preserve," Minister Cappelli said.

This, he added, applies to full-time and seasonal employees, numbering about five thousand, and relieving private renters in the first six months of paying around HRK 164 million in fees for head and queen beds.

"We are also preparing for measures through HBOR and other credit banks, and we are preparing a plan for the Ministry of Tourism to 'inject' around HRK 600 million into the sector," the minister announced.

Moratorium on termination of contracts with travel agencies for 180 days

One of the measures is intended for travel agencies, regarding the termination of a contract of travel in a package arrangement in special circumstances due to unrealized travel.

 "We regulate this by imposing a moratorium on termination of the contract for 180 days from the end of special circumstances. Travel agencies in this situation can offer vouchers instead of a refund, which will be secured by an insurance policy, which protects the consumer's rights, that is, if someone who paid the arrangement after 180 days couldn't or wanted to use it, they will be able to get a refund for the trip. " , Minister explained,

Extended deadlines for temporary solutions for catering establishments and OPGs, delayed recategorization

Amendments to the law on the hospitality industry by the end of 2021 are proposed to extend the period of validity of temporary solutions for catering and household facilities and at the farms. These are facilities that have received temporary solutions because they do not yet have a legalization decision, but have submitted a request within the deadline.

Amendments to that law include authorizing the Minister, in special circumstances, to prescribe deviations from the standard when it comes to the obligations of caterers, renters, members or holders of OPGs, and extend deadlines for the categorization of facilities (hotels, camps, marinas and those in private accommodation).

"It normally hotels have to work every four years, and now it will have to do, rather than later, and private owners who are starting this year, had the obligation to (re) categorization to be postponed for a year," said the minister.

Amendments and modifications of the Law on Tourist Communities (TZ) and promotion of Croatian tourism, due account was taken of liquidity and job preservation, which stipulates the possibility of borrowing TZs, with the consent of its president (mayors, mayors, mayors) and bank guarantee of the municipality, city or county in whose area the Tourist Board was established.

it is also in 2020 and 2021, the amendments of the law, not to apply a provision which determines the amount of total revenue can be used for salary costs of employees in TZ.

Amendments to the Law on Tourist Fees empower the Government to regulate, in special circumstances, issues relating to the amount of the tourist tax and payment deadlines, as well as to change the funds of the Fund for Tourist Underdeveloped Areas and Continent and the Fund for the Associated tourist communities.

Regarding that fee, Caministar also recalled that by the Government's first round measures, private 108,000 accommodation renters and OPGs, who pay the flat rate fee, have exempted this fee for the first six months of this year.

Reduced concession fee

"We have relieved them of this by HRK 164 million," he said, noting that by adding amendments to the regulations related to concessions on tourist land in camps co-owned by the Republic of Croatia, the variable part of the concession fee for that land for 2019 would not be calculated according to the prescribed model, but would amount to symbolic one kuna.

"This is where the fixed and variable part of this fee is paid, whereby the variable part is now reduced to 1 kuna, and the payment of the fixed part is delayed until 31 August, but will depend on the situation. thus, we are unburdening around 180 thousand per camp, or a total of 15 to 20 million kuna, "the minister said.

Covid-19 Working Capital Loan Program

The government on Thursday decided on the Covid-19 Working Capital Facility as a measure to help the economy in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, aimed at micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The loan amounts are up to HRK 750 thousand for working capital, with an interest rate of 0.25 percent, beginning at 12 months and a maximum repayment period of five years, with a shortened procedure for processing the application and without paying any additional fees.

The measure, the implementation of which Hamag-Bicro will be responsible for, will provide additional liquidity to micro, small and medium-sized small business entities whose operations have been adversely affected by coronavirus.

It shall apply until the use of the funds, and no later than 31 December this year.

The beneficiary must demonstrate a negative impact of the epidemic on the business by reducing its revenue by at least 20 percent in the first quarter or projected revenue decline in the coming quarters.

"This financial instrument is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The loan is not intended to refinance existing credit obligations or payments obligations incurred before 2020, "said Minister of Economy, Business and Trade Darko Horvat.

It also adopted amendments to the program" Micro and small loans for rural development ". It is a securing more favorable interest rates, which for micro and small loans for rural development are reduced from 0.5 - 1.0% to 0.1% - 0.25%. at an interest rate of 0.5%.

Government Support Measures to the Croatian Farmer, Fisherman and Village

The Government also includes three measures in the parliamentary procedure aimed at the agricultural sector, including aid for crop and livestock production worth HRK 53 million and intervention purchases of milk, for which HRK 2.5 million is intended.

"These are the Government's support measures for the Croatian farmer, fisherman and village, which should be given priority at this time," said Prime Minister Plenkovic.

The government has made the decision on the conditions and criteria that agricultural and food products must satisfy in public procurement, thus enabling the contracting authorities to have direct, flexible and prompt selection of suppliers, with transparency in the treatment of the specified criteria.

"Due to short supply and disturbance caused by the market restriction caused by the coronavirus epidemic, and to secure the supply of contracting authorities and facilitate the sale and bridging of difficult trading conditions to producers, this decision determines the procurement of agricultural and food products," said Agriculture Minister Vuckovic. .

She added that during the epidemic, as well as the duration of the disturbance, the criteria of public procurement laws relating to the freshness of the product and the brevity of transport will be compulsorily applied in the market, especially the environmental, seasonal, current and products in short supply chains.

It also enables a contracting authority that is unable to obtain products that meet the above criteria from a previous supplier, may, in a direct negotiated procedure, without prior publication, award the contract to another contracting authority.

With this decision, the Ministry of Agriculture is obliged to develop within 30 days an application that will function as a commodity exchange - a digital marketplace, which will help to bring closer the domestic producers of agricultural and food products and contracting authorities. Tenderers will enter this market through a public invitation issued by the Ministry.

HRK 2.5 million secured for emergency milk purchase

The government has also made a decision to buy milk from dairy farms that are in trouble due to the virus corona epidemic, for which HRK 2.5 million has been secured.

The interim measures, the minister said, foresee the purchase of market surpluses from small dairies and ceding to intermediaries in the donated food chain. The budget provides funds of HRK 2.5 million, which is assumed to be sufficient to remedy supply and demand disruptions in this short month.

For aid in the crop and livestock sector HRK 53 million

The third measure intended for the agricultural sector is the decision to adopt a support program for primary farmers in the crop and livestock sector in 2020.

"The program is worth 53 million and relates to nine measures aimed at crop and livestock production," the minister said Vuckovic.

The program, she said, referring to small farms so. Micro-businesses, which employ at least one and no more than 10 employees and provide them in this time where they are exposed to market disturbances help to ensure liquidity.

delayed procurement process public planes

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in the fourth by the Government reported that Croatia is in the circumstances the fight against the epidemic coronavirus decided to further delay the process of procurement of fighter aircraft .

"In these circumstances, after consultation, we have decided to further delay the procurement of fighter jets. This is the only logical and correct decision at this time. We'll also written to inform all those countries participating in the process of sending the offer, with the corresponding dates changed, "said the Prime Minister.

The delay maintenance of international military air show" CROIMAS 2020 "

The government also passed a decision to postpone the holding of the first Croatian international of the CROMAS 2020 military aviation rally, scheduled for May 30 in Zadar, on the occasion of the Croatian National Day.

"Due to the newly emerged situation of the coronavirus epidemic, which is a global problem with an uncertain end, and which reflects on segments of the state and society, it is showing solidarity and proposing to postpone the rally for May 30, 2021," said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Damir Krsticevic .

Taking into account the priorities and the need to direct all available resources to solve the crisis to which Croatia is exposed and taking into account the health of citizens, we consider it appropriate to postpone the rally, added Minister Krsticevic.

Source: Hina / Government