Poland's government has announced plans to subsidize workers' salaries for firms whose revenues fall by 15 percent. Companies who fulfill the requirements will receive zł.794 per month equal to the unemployment benefit to put toward the salary of each employee it keeps on the payroll. Companies will then have to make up the difference in the employees' salaries on their own.
"Instead of doling out benefits, it's better to subsidize salaries for a while. This way, workers get to keep their jobs," Minister of Labor Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz told Gazeta Wyborcza.
In order to receive the subsidies, a company will have to produce proof of substantially weaker performance. A 25 percent drop in revenues was the original threshold proposed, but "after a series of talks with trade unions and employers, we decided to lower it to 15 percent," Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz said.
The government also wants to cut some red tape for employers filing for subsidies. Companies won't have to submit a reorganization plan or file for the so-called "precarious financial standing" status to receive government help.
Another initiative the government is taking to prop up employment is introducing more flexible work hours to Polish labor law. The government adopted draft legislation on the matter last week.
If the changes are passed by parliament, firms will be allowed to reduce the number of hours their employees work when times get tough, or extend it when business picks up.
The new rules will replace anti-crisis legislation in force between 2009 and 2011 which was designed to cushion the blow the global economic slowdown dealt the labor market.
If the Sejm adopts the proposal, it would become binding in the second quarter of 2013.
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