Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Brussels, 9 December 2022

The European Commission has approved a €1.26 billion (HRK 9.5 billion) Croatian wage subsidy scheme to support employers and self-employed persons affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme was approved under the State aid COVID Temporary Framework.

Under the scheme, which goes under the name “job preservation aid scheme”, the aid takes the form of wage subsidies. The measure is open to employers and self-employed persons active in a number of sectors particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, such as tourism and passenger transport. The purpose of the measure is (i) to reduce the wage costs of the eligible employers during the period between June 2020 and June 2022; and (ii) to support low earning self-employed individuals whose income had been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme therefore aims at preserving the employment levels and at avoiding layoffs.

The Commission found that the Croatian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the COVID Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the measure assists businesses particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is aimed at avoiding layoffs; (ii) the monthly wage subsidies do not exceed 80% of the monthly gross salary of the benefitting personnel; and (iii) the aid has been granted before 30 June 2022. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the COVID Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules.

More information on the COVID Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.103801 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Source – EU Commission

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