€100 billion from the EU to keep people in jobs

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The European Parliament said in a statement this morning that when taking into consideration all the initiatives launched at European level to safeguard employment, the total assistance will be reaching up to a 100 billion euro.

Many businesses are experiencing economic difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and have had to temporarily suspend or substantially reduce their activities and the working hours of their staff. To support employers and to protect workers and the self-employed from losing their jobs or incomes, the European Commission pushed through a temporary instrument called Sure (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency), to complement national efforts to protect employment.

During the crisis, the EU has approved financial assistance under the Sure programme in the form of loans granted on favourable terms to EU countries that request support. Assistance would finance national short-time work schemes, unemployment benefits and similar job protection measures. Up to €100 billion will be available to all 27 member states.

Short-time work schemes

The  funds will also allow companies and businesses facing economic difficulties to temporarily reduce the hours worked by their employees, who then receive compensation for income loss from the member state

Short-time work schemes would allow families to maintain their incomes and continue paying their bills, while firms would be able to protect production capacity and employees, ensuring market stability. In the longer term, short-time work schemes can prevent more severe consequences on the economy and help businesses recover faster after the crisis.

Welcoming the creation of Sure and calling on EU countries to implement it quickly,  Slovak ECR member Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, chair of Parliament’s employment committee, said: “It is an important expression of EU solidarity and a helpful instrument to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis. By supporting short-time work schemes and similar measures, Sure will help companies experiencing economic difficulties to keep people in jobs.”

While Sure is a temporary instrument designed specifically to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission is also working on a new proposal for a European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme to support employment and protect workers who lose their jobs due to economic shocks.

A future European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme aims to reduce pressure on EU countries’ public finances by providing support to national measures to preserve jobs and skills and to facilitate the transition back into work. The Commission is expected to present its proposal later this year.

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