On March 30, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law allowing the government to assist small and medium-sized businesses by helping pay their employees’ salaries. The law, numbered 3275, introduces the legal concept of ‘temporary unemployment due to coronavirus’.
Per the law, the government would not pay workers directly – instead, it would pay employers whose employees have become “temporarily unemployed”. The employer would be required to apply for this financial aid with several documents, including a list of employees whose working hours have been cut more than 50% because of the quarantine.
The Ministry of Economic Development notes that “the right to a partial unemployment benefit is granted to insured persons with whom the employer has a registered employment relationship,” though this assistance will not apply to Ukrainian workers who work under black market or grey market employment conditions, and who may not have a formalized employment agreement.
The aid would also not cover an employee’s full salary – the law limits the aid to two-thirds of a worker’s hourly wage, and said aid cannot exceed what the Ukrainian government considers to be a ‘subsistence minimum’, which as of January 1, 2020, was calculated at approximately $76 at current exchange rates.
According to a recent survey taken by the Rating Sociological Group, nearly 40% of Ukrainians have reported a loss of income associated with the coronavirus quarantine in the country.
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