9th April 2020, Skopje – The measure – Denar 14,500 wage per employee refers to all companies affected by the Coronavirus crisis, as well as the persons performing independent activity, applying therefore is easy, requirements are simple, Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, pointed out in her interview on “Economic Magazine” TV program.

She underlined that a confusion was made by considering these funds as intended for payment of the net wage. She referred to the Labour Relations Law, pursuant to which in conditions of interruption of the operations by case of a force majeure, the companies may pay 50% of the wage, according to which funds under this measure cover both the wage and the related contributions, considering that the average net wage in the hospitality industry amounts to Denar 18,000.

– Article 112 in the Labour Relations Law prescribes that in case of interruption of the operations, the employer lets the employees go home and pays them 70% of the wage, while in case of a force majeure, the employees are paid 50% of the wage while at home during the respective period. Thus, when talking about the hospitality industry which, according to the State Statistical Office, employs 30,000 persons with gross wage in the amount of Denar 26,000 and net wage in the amount of Denar 18,000 in 2019, the companies, in order to keep the employees, let the employees go home and pay them 50% of the wage, meaning the employees’ net wage amounts to Denar 9,000. Net wage of Denar 9,000, including contributions and PIT, amounts to Denar 14,500, hence, in this case, the measure fully covers the wage of 50% for the companies already having done this – Angelovska said.

Finance Minister pointed out that this measure applied to all employers.

– One of the requirements is for their income to have dropped by 30%, showing the level of severity suffered from the crisis. When talking about 30% income decline, such decline refers to the months of April and May, because the employers will apply for this measure for April at the end of April, i.e. at the beginning of May and, should the company experience 30% decline in its income in April, compared to the monthly average in 2019, such company meets this requirement. As regards all those being registered later, the monthly average since their operating is taken into account in terms of the 30% decline, while for the seasonal workers, the quarter is compared to the relevant quarter in the previous year in terms of the 30% decline. The second requirement is for no dividends, bonuses to be paid from the date of announcing the Decree, that is from two days ago, up to the day of using this assistance. The third requirement, as she said, is not more than 10% of the number of employees to receive wage in the amount of Denar 120,000. That being so, requirements are really simple and they cover all employees, Angelovska said.

Angelovska stressed that the process of applying was very simple.

-The companies fill in an application through the PRO’s e-Tax system by the 5th in the month, meaning by 5th May for the previous month, that they fulfill the requirements, i.e. they declare under criminal liability and moral responsibility that their income has dropped by 30%, they have to tick the necessary boxes and thus fill in the application. Within three days, the PRO informs them on the completeness of the form, which form has already been published. The companies then tick the employee they request the assistance for in the MPIN form, the form they fill in on monthly basis for payment of wages. They tick, for instance, 10 employees or so and enter 619 in the code box, if they use only this measure, or they enter 621 in the code box, if they also use the wage subsidy measure. After applying by the 13th in the month, they will be transferred the funds to their account. How is this done? Under the special program intended for this measure, PRO informs the Government thereof, the Government pays the funds to the employer’s account and the employer pays the wages, pursuant to the Law, by the 15th in the month, i.e. the employer is to have the MPIN form processed in the banks, Angelovska said.

She stressed that persons performing independent activity were also eligible to apply for this measure.

-This measure – financial assistance in the amount of Denar 14,500 also applies to persons performing independent activity, and it is prescribed in the Decree. All craftsmen mentioned are registered as persons performing independent activity and they apply for this measure via the e-PPD system of the PRO, rather than via the e-Tax system. The Decree has been published, as well as the respective form, and the process is very simple, since it is not the same MPIN (Monthly Calculation of Integrated Payment) process for the persons performing independent activity. They include large number of craftsmen, cosmeticians, hairdressers and so on, which are eligible for this financial assistance measure, with slight modifications since their form of registration is different, she pointed out.

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