RIGA - 80 percent of beauty salon employees who have received downtime benefits were paid less than EUR 300, according to a survey carried out by the Latvian Association of Beauticians and Cosmetologists.
About a third of employees in the industry who applied for downtime benefits were turned down, while 35 percent did not apply for downtime payments at all.
According to the Beauticians and Cosmetologists Association's President Renate Reinsone, beauty salons' representatives said that the most frequent reasons why the State Revenue Service refused to pay downtime benefits to those working in the industry included insufficient decrease in turnover, the potential recipient was a beauty salon's board member as well as an employee, the company had opened just recently, the potential downtime benefit recipient was on vacation this past August, the company was active in several industries, and others.
Those who did not apply for the benefits at all said that they did not trust they would be paid the benefits, that they did not meet the requirements, that they had to repay support they had received last spring, that they had tax debts, that the support was too meager compared to the effort that had to be put in.
The findings of the survey prove that the downtime benefits in most cases do not even amount to the minimum subsistence level, not to mention utility payments that beauty salons still have to pay, Reinsone told LETA. "Alternative solutions have to be looked for and additional support mechanisms, including suspension of rent agreements, loan holidays, tax breaks and others. If the government extends the restrictions, it would only be fair if specific support measures were adapted to each given industry's needs," she said.