The corona virus - payroll support for taking temporarily laid-off employees back to work
The government has proposed a temporary arrangement where employers can apply for payroll support to bring their own laid-off employees back to work.
The grounds for the proposal are that the number of temporarily laid off employees is still very high. As of June 2, 2020, just under 330,000 full or partially unemployed were registered. The purpose of the support scheme is to reduce the number of laid-offs and counteract the risk that unemployment in Norway will stabilize at a high level.
The scheme will as a starting point only apply for July and August. Payroll support will be provided to the employer as a total payment for both months shortly after the scheme expires. Support is only granted for employees who were fully or partially temporarily laid off when the scheme was launched on May 28, 2020. The grounds for the restriction are that the government does not want to give businesses incentives to implement new layoffs.
The employee must also have been in work throughout the period for which support is sought, but still so that the employee can take vacation. In addition, there is a requirement that the employee cannot be temporarily laid off or be given notice until October 1, 2020. The employee may also not be in any notice period during the period which the employer receives support.
Businesses that have had a turnover decrease of 30 percent or more are given support with a fixed amount of NOK 15,000 per month per full-time employee returning to work. For businesses that have had a smaller decrease in turnover, the payroll support will depend on the size of the drop in turnover. The drop in turnover in the support month is calculated based on turnover for the same month last year. Businesses that have had a drop in turnover of 10 percent or less will not receive support.
The Government's proposal is scheduled to be first-time considered in Stortinget (Parliament) on 16 June 2020, see Prop. 131 L (2019-2010).
For more information on what employers should be aware of when laid-off workers return to work, see this news article.