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Corona – Government Wage Guarantee Programmes

Many countries are helping businesses minimize the need to terminate employees during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable companies to resume activity as quickly as possible once the pandemic subsides.  Outlined below are specific wage subsidy schemes that certain governments have introduced.

Corona Government Wage Subsidies

Canada: up to 75%

The Canadian government has passed legislation called Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that would subsidize employee wages by up to 75%.


  • Employers who are individuals
  • Taxable corporations
  • Partnerships, non-profit organizations, and registered charities. To be eligible, these types of organizations must have seen a 15% decrease in revenue in March 2020 and 30% after.

The amount an employer may receive for an employee that is eligible to receive must be the greater of the following scenarios:

75% of their regular pay, capped at $847 CAD per week OR up to $847 CAD of the regular pay or 75% of the regular pay before the COVID-19 crisis (whichever is less)

To calculate the average weekly wages: wages paid between January 1st and March 15th excluding any 7 day period in which the employee was absent from work due to COVID-19.

See further Canada Corona updates

Czech Republic: up to 80%

The Czech government has decided to offer salary relief to employers that will go in to effect on April 1, 2020 and will end June 30, 2020.

The Antivirus Program  offers different aid packages for wage guarantee:

  • For employers who need to suspend their operations – the employer must continue to pay 100% of the employee wages.  The government will reimburse 80% back to the employer.
  • 30% of an employer’s work force is not working due to illness or the need to care for a child – the employer must continue to pay 100% of the employee’s wages.  The government will reimburse 80% back to the employee.
  • Decrease in material, products, or services – the employer must continue to pay 80%-100% of the employee’s wages.  The government will reimburse 80% back to the employer.

It is possible for an employer to request relief on a combination of the above mentioned.  The employer will need to fill out an application with the Czech Labor Office and the reimbursement will be applied retroactively.

Denmark: up to 75%  

The Danish Government will subsidize 75% of wages in the private sector for companies who are at risk to have to cut at least 30% of their workforce or 50 people.  For hourly employees, the government will pay up to 90% of employee salaries, capped at 26,000 Danish Krone.  If a company receives this assistance, they must refrain from dismissing any employees.  As of current, this is valid from March 9, 2020 – June 9, 2020 and is subject to change.

See further Denmark Corona updates

Ireland – up to 70%

The Irish government announced that starting April 1, 2020, companies are able to apply for Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (retroactive as of March 26, 2020) for a period of 12 weeks. 70% capped at 410 EUR net in wage subsidy per week for each employee who qualifies.

Employers will be reimbursed for the wages within 2 working days after the government receives the payroll submission. In addition, it is important to note that payroll taxes will not be applied to the subsidy payment.

To qualify:

  • A company must be able to show a loss of 25% in turnover
  • Is unable to to pay employee’s regular wages or keep them on payroll
  • Has been negatively affected by the COVID-19
  • Employees are qualified to receive the subsidy if they have been on the employer’s payroll since February 29, 2020 and payroll submissions for February and March have been made on their behalf.

If a company has already applied for COVID-19 Refund Scheme, no action needs to be taken.

See further Ireland Corona updates

The Netherlands: up to 90% 

In the Netherlands an employer is able to receive compensation from social security (UVW) for up to 90% or a maximum of 9,538 EUR (gross) per month of the employee’s monthly wages from March 2020 to May 2020.  In addition, the employer cost is fixed at 30%. During the time that the employer received this subsidy, they cannot terminate employees.

See further Netherlands Corona updates

Singapore up to 75%

The Job Security Scheme will grant support to qualified groups by covering 25% – 75% of gross monthly wages per Singapore Citizen/Permanent Resident employee. The scheme has a monthly wage cap of $4,600.

Percentage of support received depends on the sector:

  • Aviation and tourism which receive 75% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee.
  • Food Services which receive 50% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee.
  • All other sectors which receive 25% of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages per local employee.

See further Singapore Corona updates

United Kingdom: up to 80%  

The UK Government is paying up to 80% of wages, capped at 2,500 GBP per month from March 1st  for up to 4 months under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Any UK entity is able to apply that has an active payroll from March 19,2020.  In addition, they must be registered online for PAYE and hold a UK bank account.

See further U.K Corona updates