COVID-19

Coronavirus News Monitor

COVID-19

Coronavirus News Monitor

30 March 2020
Australia unveils 'job keeper' payments to keep economy running

Reuters (30.03.2020) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday committed a A$130 billion ($79.86 billion) package to help save jobs as shockwaves from the coronavirus pandemic rip through the economy. The package includes a A$1,500 ($923.10) “job keeper” payment to be paid to employers every two weeks, for each worker under the scheme.

30 March 2020
Coronavirus, doctors, nurses and health care workers are covered by INAIL

ROME - The new Coronavirus infections of doctors, nurses and other employees of the National Health Service and of any other public or private health facility insured with Inail, which occurred in the work environment or due to the performance of the work activity, are fully protected as accidents at work. The causal link with the duties performed is assumed.This was clarified by a note from the Central Insurance Relations Department and the Central Health Superintendence of the Institute, in which it is specified that insurance protection also extends to cases in which the identification of the specific causes and working methods of the infection is problematic. In fact, it is assumed that the infection is a consequence of the tasks performed. In addition, Covid-19 cases of outward and return journeys from the workplace are also protected, which therefore constitute accidents during the journey. Inail coverage also for quarantine and home isolation.Operators who are positive for the infection confirmation test are admitted to the protection of the Institute, which extends to all the consequences of the accident. In cases of infection with a new Coronavirus, in particular, it covers abstention from work due to quarantine or home isolation for the entire period and any subsequent one, due to the prolongation of illness that determines an absolute temporary incapacity. For the employer, the obligation to report / communicate to the Institute remains.The local health authority or the private hospital / health structure of the injured staff, as public or private employers, are required to report / report the accident to Inail as for other accident cases. Furthermore, the obligation of the certifying doctor to transmit the accident medical certificate to the Institute is confirmed.

PS: The INAIL protection covers the entire period of home or quarantine isolation and any subsequent one, due to the prolongation of illness that determines an absolute temporary incapacity

27 March 2020
France: Soutien des crèches

monenfant.fr (20.03.2020)

L’Etat ayant décidé de la fermeture de la plupart des crèches accueillant des enfants de moins de 3 ans, la Caisse nationale des allocations familiales va verser des aides exceptionnelles aux crèches fermées. Des crèches accueillent, gratuitement, les enfants des familles prioritaires (professionnels de santé, policiers, pompiers, etc.). Afin d’aider les Préfets à mettre en place ce service d’accueil d’urgence, le site internet des Caisses d’allocations (www.monenfant.fr ) a mis en place un service spécifique pour recenser les besoins de ces familles et les places disponibles

27 March 2020
Malaysia: Workers forced to take unpaid leave to receive cash assistance of RM600 a month

thestar.com.my (16.03.2020) Employees who are affected will receive financial assistance of RM600 each month for a maximum period of six months, said Muhyiddin. Workers who are given notice to take unpaid leave beginning March 1 will be eligible for the financial assistance, said Muhyiddin. “This involves an allocation of RM120mil, and as many as 33,000 workers are targeted to receive this benefit, ” he said during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya on March 16 (Monday). Muhyiddin also said that affected employees with salaries under RM4,000 a month are also allowed to withdraw from the Employee Insurance System (EIS).

27 March 2020
France: Caf Nursery support

caf.fr (20.03.2020) Exceptional aid will be granted to 12,500 crèches financed by Caf which had to close their doors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

27 March 2020
Italy: Italian government proposes vouchers for babysitters and payment of 80% of wages in response to coronavirus

time24.news (15.03.2020) To discourage layoffs during the crisis, employees of companies that have paralyzed their activities will be entitled to receive a benefit in the amount of 80% of the salary, paid by the agency similar to the Brazilian INSS. The measure would be valid for nine weeks – that is, until mid-May, depending on the date of approval of the decree. In addition to the compensation, workers would also have their absence from quarantine work considered as sick leave, with the costs paid by the State. Because of the closure of schools, parents of children under the age of 12 who had their classes suspended would be entitled to 15-day family leave and would receive, during this period, 50% of their salary. Mom and dad couldn’t use the benefit at the same time. For parents who cannot or do not want to be absent from work, the package includes a € 600 (R $ 3,259) voucher for hiring babysitters. This amount increases to € 1000 (R $ 5,432) in the case of healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses and laboratory workers.

27 March 2020
Iceland: Ensuring wages to employees and the self-employed

government.is (21.03.2020) The authorities, in cooperation with the Icelandic Federation of Labour and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, have ensured that quarantined individuals will receive pay while they are in quarantine; however, during that time, other rights, such as sick days provided for in wage agreements, do not apply. This applies to the period from 1 February through 30 April 2020, and it applies to those who are unable to work while they are in quarantine. It is assumed that employers will pay wages to their employees and will then apply to the Treasury for reimbursement up to a specified maximum amount. The same applies to self-employed individuals if they have been forced to stop working due to quarantine during the above-mentioned period.

Payments to self-employed individuals in quarantine are based on 80% of their average monthly income in 2019. Payments are subject to a maximum of ISK 633,000 per month, or ISK 21,100 per day. Average income is based on the average of the estimated income used as the payroll tax base in 2019.

27 March 2020
Iceland: Access to voluntary pension savings

government.is (21.03.2020) During the next 15 months, people can withdraw a monthly sum from their voluntary pension savings, to a maximum of ISK 800,000.

27 March 2020
Ottawa drafting mandatory standards to protect health of workers during pandemic - The Globe and Mail

 The Globe and Mail (26.03.2020) The federal government is drafting mandatory, national standards to protect the health and safety of workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

27 March 2020
Italy: Extension of parental leave and funds for families

cnbc.com (16.03.2020) Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said the new measures would be approved next month. Monday’s decree is immediately effective and provides 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to help the hard-pressed health service and 10 billion to support families and workers, ministers said. It extends parental leave, offers funds to families to pay for babysitters, and suspends all firing procedures begun after Feb. 23. Gualtieri has said several times that “nobody must lose their job because of coronavirus.”

27 March 2020
New Zealand: New measures: Deferral of the disability allowance and annual income reviews

workandincome.govt.nz (27.03.2020) We’re making urgent changes to the way we do things – taking into account the health and safety of our clients and each other. From Monday 30 March we’re:

  • deferring the need to provide subsequent medical certificates for clients already getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payment and Child Disability Allowance.
  • deferring any Disability Allowance reviews
  • delaying Annual Reviews (including all annual reviews of income, confirming your circumstances (CYC) and annual circumstances letters (ACL), social housing reviews, and life certificates)
  • clearing any Special Benefit expiries or reviews
  • deferring any new obligations failures
  • clearing any 52-week reapplications for clients getting Job Seeker Support or Sole Parent Support
  • extending the period that Temporary Additional Support is granted for. We’re working through transitional arrangements for any clients whose payments are affected by any of these changes/reviews.
26 March 2020
Opinion: How to support the self-employed through the pandemic

Financial Times (25.03.2020) Disruptions caused by coronavirus have exposed the gaps in the welfare system

26 March 2020
COVID-19: Social protection systems failing vulnerable groups

ilo.org (25.03.2020) Governments must use the momentum created by the COVID-19 pandemic to make rapid progress toward collectively financed, comprehensive, and permanent social-protection systems.

26 March 2020
Coronavirus highlights sick pay void for platform workers

Eurofound (19.03.2020) The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is starting to have a serious impact on the world economy. The consequences for platform workers are especially severe in light of forced work stoppages due to self-isolation and lack of sick pay in many cases. Recent media coverage shows that platform workers in the transport sector (ride hailing and food delivery) are most affected, while professional services performed online (such as remote consultations with health professionals) could help to reduce the pressure on health systems.

25 March 2020
ILO Report on Social protection response to Covid19 in Asia

ilo.org (25.03.2020) This brief outlines the implications of the Covid-19 crisis for national social protection systems and highlights specific social protection responses taken in countries in the Asia and Pacific region. It builds on a more comprehensive ILO Brief which offers policy considerations regarding the role of social protection in responding to the possible impacts of COVID-19 crisis.

25 March 2020
Canada: Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

canada.ca (25.03.2020) Support for Seniors: Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds We are reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

25 March 2020
Canada: Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

canada.ca (25.03.2020) Support for individuals and families: Increasing the Canada Child Benefit. We are providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

25 March 2020
Denmark: Danish corona-hit firms get state aid to pay 75% of salaries

euractiv.com (15.03.2020) Denmark’s government told private companies struggling with drastic measures to curb the spread of coronavirus that it would cover 75% of employees’ salaries, if they promised not to cut staff. Under the three-month aid period that will last until June 9, the state offers to pay 75% of employees’ salaries at a maximum of 23,000 Danish crowns ($3,418) per month, while the companies pay the remaining 25%. “If there’s a big drop in activity, and production is halted, we understand the need to send home employees. But we ask you: Don’t fire them,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said told a news conference on Sunday (15 March). Employees will be obliged to take five days of mandatory vacation or time off from work, she added. The offer is one of several economic aid packages by the government to help companies and employees cushion the effect of tough measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

25 March 2020
Luxemburg: Measures at the level of social security contributions

gouvernement.lu (19.03.2020) Faced with the impact of COVID-19 on companies and the self-employed in Luxembourg, the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS) and the Minister for Social Security, Romain Schneider, have taken a series of measures to support companies and the self-employed by offering them greater flexibility in their management of the payment of social security contributions.

25 March 2020
Canada: The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit

canada.ca (23.03.2020)  The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit: We will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to: 

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19. working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.