RIGA - Downtime benefits and subsidized jobs could be reintroduced in Latvia if the government again declares a state of emergency over the spread of Covid-19, LETA was told at the Finance Ministry.
Finance Minister Janis Reirs' (New Unity) led workgroup for business and employee support, which met on Thursday, agreed that if Latvia reenter the state of emergency, support has to be provided to employers and employees.
The Finance Ministry will now draw up a report on the planned support measures and submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers as the government decides on declaring the state of emergency. The Finance Ministry would not comment whether the report will be presented at the extraordinary Cabinet meeting this Friday, November 6.
It follows from the information provided by the Finance Ministry that employees would be provided combined support in the situation of a new Covid-19 emergency. The government would resume downtime payments to idled employees and introduce wage subsidies to businesses that continue their operations despite reduced turnover.
The Finance Ministry indicated that all support measures will be developed taking into consideration the amount of restrictions effective in Latvia and the spread of Covid-19. The ministry declined to elaborate on the support plans, given that the state of emergency has not yet been declared and it is not known which sectors will be affected most.
As reported, the Latvian government this Friday is due to decide on reintroducing a state of emergency from next Monday, November 9, in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.