The closure of schools, especially primary schools, has caused problems for thousands of parents. Children must stay at home from Wednesday, 11 March 2020, until further notice, but the smallest children cannot be there alone. Parents of children up to 10 years are entitled to the nursing allowance. They can stay 9 calendar days at home, single parents with children up to 16 years of compulsory education up to 16 days. At that time, they will receive 60 percent of their salary.
However, this benefit now does not apply to self-employed persons and employees working on an agreement to perform work. However, the self-employed could reach the benefit, the government will discuss the change on Monday, 16 March. But it can be expected that closing schools will take longer, it is speaking about a month. In such a case, however, employees would have to take leave to take care of their children, arrange work from home, or otherwise agree with the employer.
In addition, people who find themselves in financial need due to emergency measures regarding coronavirus may apply to the Labor Office for a single emergency help. This also applies to parents of children up to 10 years of age who stayed with them at home.
On 9 March, the Czech government approved the national COVID Loan Program for small and medium-sized enterprises and sole traders. Entrepreneurs will thus be able to obtain an operating loan with zero interest. The amount from CZK 500 thousand to CZK 15 million will be provided by the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (ČMZRB), up to 90 percent of eligible expenditure and with a maturity of 2 years, including the possibility of deferred repayment for up to 12 months. For example, travel agencies may use the money for canceled tours, organizers of cultural, sporting and other events not undertaken as a result of emergency measures or firms that have lost orders or supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is also preparing the same package for smaller entrepreneurs and sole traders. CMZRB would provide a loan guarantee that such an entrepreneur would immediately receive. In addition, he would not have to refund the full amount.
Postpone of installments
The Presidium of the Czech Banking Association, which represents most banks on the Czech market, agreed on Thursday that banks should allow employees and self-employed workers to postpone mortgage and consumer loan installments for three months. This is to those who has a difficulty with payments in connection with emergency measures.
Postponement of tax obligations
The Ministry of Finance is preparing a liberalization package to relieve entrepreneurs and sole traders of their obligations. For example, the deadline for filing tax returns will be extended. The first date for its submission is April 1, and in the case of using a tax advisor July 1. And it is until 1 July that the period for filing a tax return will be extended without getting a fine or having to pay interest of late payments.
Some cities and charities purchase food, medicines, or other necessities for the elderly. They want to protect them against the infection with coronavirus, which threatens especially in places where more people meet.
There are a number of support and assistance measures, and others will surely follow.
The Czech company Rekola, which operates a shared bike rental, introduced its services free of charge by March 27. People can thus reduce contact in public transport while doing something for their health.
Mobile operators also offered a range of free services during this difficult situation (see separate report for more details).
Prepared by the team of CzechTrade / CzechInvest Israel