29th April 2020, Skopje – Improvements of the requirements related to the measure for financial support amounting to Denar 14,500 per employee – with greater flexibility with respect to the requirement for keeping the number of employees, opportunity to combine this measure with the measure for subsidizing 50% of the contributions for the most affected sectors and possibility for the assistance to be transformed into a grant – non-repayable funds. This news is in coordination with the World Bank, which will finance half of the projected amount for the measure with a loan of around EUR 50 million. At today’s press conference, the Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska and the Director of the Public Revenue Office Sanja Lukarevska presented the measure for which the employers and the persons performing independent activity will be able to apply as of the beginning of May, whereat, the World Bank Director for Kosovo and North Macedonia Marco Mantovanelli had also a video address.

One of the novelties is that small- and micro-sized companies can keep the same number of employees minus 15%, the medium-sized ones can keep up to minus 10% thereof, while the large companies can keep up to minus 5% of the employees. Prior to the change of this requirement, they were obliged to keep the same number of employees until July, i.e. two months upon using the measure. By introducing these percentages, layoffs will be prevented again, however the scope of companies that will be able to apply for the measure, will be greater, by which they can continue their operations. This is particularly important for micro- and small-sized companies.

The needs of the most affected sectors from Covid-19, i.e. hospitality industry, tourism and transport, are also met, by giving additional support thereto, which provides for combining the anti-crisis measures “Denar 14,500 per employee” and ” subsidizing 50% of the contributions” aimed at these sectors, if the companies did not undergo a loss for 2018 and 2019, they are not on the PRO’s list of debtors from March 2020, and if, as of February inclusive, they did not default on the loans for more than 90 days from the maturity date.

-Thus, they will be able to pay higher wages to the workers, given that the support which could be provided thereto, amounts up to even Denar 19,500. In other words, Denar 14, 500 under this measure and on the basis of subsidizing 50% of the contributions up to the maximum average wage of around Denar 5,000 – Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska said.

The third new advantage thereof,  is the possibility  to transform the funds the companies received through the measure, into a grant, i.e. non-repayable funds.

-As you already know, as before, the companies undergoing a loss in 2020, will not repay the funds from the provided assistance, i.e. the funds allocated from the state will be non-repayable. Now the scope of the measure has also been expanded with those companies that are obviously affected by the crisis, i.e. with companies generating a profit in the last two years, not being on the PRO’s list of debtors and which until March this year, did not default on the loans for more than 90 days from the maturity date, as well as in case they invest an equal or greater amount of the provided support, in employee’s trainings’, process upgrades, productive capital. The funds for them will also be grant funds – Angelovska said.  

Lukarevska pointed out that the Public Revenue Office upgraded its system for this measure in order to meet the needs of all employers so they can swiftly and easily apply for this financial support – net wage of Denar 14,500 for each employee. The state takes care of every employee and this measure is precisely aimed at preventing layoffs.

The  Director of the PRO urged the employers who will request financial support for payment of wages for their employees, to submit,  immediately after the end of this month, i.e. as of 1st May already,  a request for financial support – BFP-IP  (Request for Financial Support – Wage Payment) form to the Public Revenue Office, through the e-Tax system, by 7th  May at latest, for payment of wages for the month of April (i.e. by 7th June  for the payment of wages for the month of May).

The request will be confirmed by the Public Revenue Office within 3 days from the day of its receipt, and after the employers is provided with the PRO’s confirmation that the request is complete, he/she enters 5000 code in the code box 3.4b in the MPIN form, for those employees requiring financial support (i.e. wage payment of up to Denar 14.500 at the most).

At the same time, the employer may use another measure for subsidizing the social contributions and/or the personal income tax, for which, he/she enters  the respective code for exemption in the code box 3.23 of the MPIN form, combining it (using it simultaneously) with the code that he/she entered in the code box 3.4b, i.e. the code: 5000. After processing the MPIN form, the Public Revenue Office informs the employer about the total amount of the financial support to be paid for the respective month and informs the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia about all those meeting these requirements. Funds will be paid as of 10th May already for the wages for the month of April, i.e. as of 10th June for the wages for the month of May.

Lukarevska urged the employers to keep their employees through this financial support, since this crisis in the healthcare system and the economy affected all of us, however, we are here, working hard and tirelessly so that we can somehow alleviate your situation, which we all face due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In a video address, the Director of the World Bank for Kosovo and North Macedonia, Mantovanelli said that based on technical analyses, experience from previous crises of this magnitude, but also incorporating the feedback received in consultations with the private sector, including in North Macedonia, recommendations were given for the measure – financial support of Denar 14,500 per employee, as well as that most  of the recommendations were incorporated into the general framework adopted by the Government and several are part of the Decree, which was presented today.

-In order to support our recommendations during the implementation, we have offered mobilization of unallocated funds from World Bank projects that have already been approved, so as to finance the Government’s wage subsidy measure for few months, provided they are used to target the support of micro-, small- and medium-sized companies that are deemed viable through some viability tests that are easily applicable.  We do this testing, since we think that these companies are going to be the core of the economic recovery of the country – Mantovanelli said.

The measure is intended for each company facing income decline of at least 30% in April and May compared to the monthly average in 2019, the monthly average since the establishment of the company or compared to the seasonal average in the last 4 months in relation to the seasonal average in the previous year – for the companies performing specific seasonal activities. Companies are not to pay dividends, bonuses, annual rewards, performance bonuses throughout the duration of the measure and the average of the highest net wage of 10% of the employees not to exceed Denar 120,000 per employee.

The measure refers to all employees, except for those receiving wage higher than Denar 39,900, those for which the exemption from payment of social contributions is used under the “Macedonia Employs” Project and if the employer uses the measure for subsidizing 50% of the contributions under the first set of economic measures, and the company does not perform one of the most affected activities.

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