I have to repeat the FinFec’s mantra: Covid19 came without a manual, we are learning as we go along.
Both MinPres and MinFec recommended patience. The MinSAL – social affairs, labor – talked like a politician, with pink glasses on.
The extraordinary press conference did not reveal anything new.
BUT IT DID
It introduced a new concept, and we have to try to make it work, assuming there is no work, and that no one can claim it is his ‘derecho’ to get paid, so we have to split one slice of bolo into two, and feed two people, where just one feasted before.
UPON AGREEMENT WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES: Cut work days. Pay the same rate, but cut a 40-hour work week, into 32?!
This is a first. They are NOT imposing lowering the number of hours, they ae suggesting to MUTUALLY COME TO AN AGREEMENT. This flexibility is a first, and should also be instituted with GOA’s own employees, instead of just pay cuts.
Back to the press conference. The petition sent on April 23rd to the Council of Ministers was approved this morning, May 1st, 2020, ironically Labor Day.
GOA will receive a soft loan from the Dutch government, one that must be paid back without interest.
Please note: The MinPres did mention, her government will have to come up with a strategy to raise the money, to pay it back, which means there is no free lunch, all monies received as grants, and/or subsidies will have to be paid back.
The MinPres was upbeat and positive. She thanked everyone involved, working hard on proposals.
The MinFec talked well, of course, she should have been a school-teacher, the more she explained, the more complications revealed themselves, but at the end I did figure it out with the help of some learned friends.
What I understood is the following, and forgive me if imperfect: Upon qualifying, employers get 60% of their payroll, they must pay their employees 80% of their salaries. Employees ‘contribute’ at 20%.
Then if you do the math, you see employers must kick in 20%.
How? I hear you asking. We have zero income.
From reserves or overdraft??
If you have no resources to cover the 20% you come to a mutually agreed arrangement with your employees to cut the number of days worked, or being available to work.
You need a lawyer to word that agreement/waiver and you must sit your people down. Everyone must take a smaller slice of bolo, work, or be available for work, 4 days for example instead of 6.
How will it work??
This week, employers will be OFFERED the subsidy, by mail, via SVB.
Employers are not obligated to take the offer. You can say, thanks, no thanks, and close shop.
DEAR LAWYERS: Please come up with options, some employers have no reserves, and there is no work, and their employees are unreasonable. If employers reject the aid, then what??
So, SVB, will get in touch, and offer money, and as employers we then pay our people 60% of their salaries, having cut the number of days. Employers ARE liable for the payment of all SVB/AZV premiums.
This is for MAY 2020.
We will have to submit a report to the Council of Ministers, on how well we spent the money, 49.6 million, in order to qualify for a soft-loan in JUNE.
GOA: Got to anchor those reductions by law, it is impossible to negotiate with employees, look how far you got with the unions
(One of my depressed friends write: It’s like being caught in a bear trap. You have the option to stay put, your arm and leg clamped, allowing good-natured passer-bys to feeds you, and keep you alive, or you chop off the arm and the leg and continue your life handicapped.)