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?3.2 billion economic crisis "compensation"

23 April 2009 / 11:04:21  GRReporter
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The Labor Ministry will grant ?3.2 billion, from state and European funds, for supporting the labor, construction and tourism markets.

Labor Minister Fani Petralya noted that the programs concern 1 333 000 workers and unemployed, who will have the opportunity to qualify and re-qualify or participate in programs supporting the needy groups.

The programs, which the Labor Ministry is stipulating include:

-      Protection of employees with decreased working hours. This concerns small and average firms, which have imposed shorter working hours for their employees within the bounds of the law. The program will cover the needs of 8 000 employees and has a budget of ?50 million.

-      Support for the affected sectors. This concerns the construction and tourism sectors, where it is expected that the crisis will be felt the most. In the construction sector, the Workers Homes Organization will have a tender for 2 692 homes and programs with a budget of ?90 million will take effect, in which 7 000 employees will be included. In the tourism sector, 3 500 employees will be included in a qualification program. The hotel firms, which keep the same number of employees as in April and May of last year, will be granted an employee labor aid instead of social benefits for seasonal unemployment. It is believed that the unemployed in this sector are 50 000 and they will be able to take advantage of this program, which has a budget of ?50 million. Besides this, the number of social tourism cards will be increased with 44%.

-      ?250 million will be distributed for 75 000 employees for internal firm qualifications for small and average firms.

-      Creating new job openings in the private and public sectors are also financed. For 60 000 unemployed, the social benefits will be transformed to work benefits—in other words the firms will be financed with amounts, which will be equal to the amount for social benefits. Those amounts will be given with the signing of every work contract and the employee will receive a salary with benefits. The budget for this program is ?309 million.

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