The worst economic disaster in decades has seen govts in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa roll out special schemes to shore up employers’ capacity to pay salaries to their staff. As India waits for the next stimulus package, here’s a look at how other countries have opened their fiscal purse strings…

UK: Starting Monday for next 3 months all employers can get 80% govt funding for workers’ salaries of up to £2,500 a month.

US: Income support for families of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for children, and $250 billion to boost unemployment insurance.

Spain: Affected workers will receive full salary during lockdown. Bar on outright dismissals. Plus allowance for temporary workers and household employees.


Italy:
€5 billion top up on wage supplementation scheme for those furloughed employees. Plus one-off payments to various other categories of workers.

France: Employees receive an allowance of approx 84% of their net salary, 100% for minimum-wage workers.

Germany: Employees will tap a €26 billion insurance fund, which guarantees workers at least 60% of their basic pay.

Japan: All citizens are expected to receive a cash payout of ¥100,000 yen ($928).


Denmark:
State to pay 75% of wages for 3 months if employers do not lay off employees.

Argentina: Employers are not allowed to fi re workers during a period of 60 days, and required to pay part of salaries.


Australia:
Wage subsidy to businesses to the tune of A$130 bn or 6.5% of GDP).

Austria: State guarantees 90% for gross salaries below €1,700, 85% for salaries below €2,685 and 80% for salaries below €5,370, while apprentices get compensated in full.

Belgium: For those on temporary unemployment, benefi ts were raised from 65% to 70% of gross wages. Also help for self-employed. BRAZIL: Informal workers and the unemployed will receive over 3 months a temporary new benefi t of $120 per month under certain conditions.

Canada: C$2,000 per month (for up to four months) to those who have lost income due to Covid-19.

China: Temporary living allowance for migrant workers; and some benefi ts for jobless.

Czech Republic: Quarantined employees to get 60% of their salaries while employees in fi rms that had to stop operations will be compensated in full.

Greece: Allowance of €800 for employees of affected companies.

Indonesia: Manufacturing workers with annual income below a threshold exempted from income tax for six months.


Ireland:
Temporary wage subsidy of 85% (raised from 70% in March) of net weekly take home pay up to €412. KENYA: 100% tax relief for persons earning gross monthly income of up to $225 (lowincome earners).


South Korea:
Central government relief checks to households in the bottom 70% income bracket (around 14 million households), of up to $820 per household.

Netherlands: Temporary compensation of company wage costs of up to 90% of wage bill.

Norway: Provisions for employees who are on temporary lay-off to receive full wage compensation (up to 50,000 kroner per month).

Poland: Subsidies for employees’ salaries of up to 40% of the average statutory wage, with some conditions.

Saudi Arabia: Govt will cover 60% of salaries of Saudi staff in companies under stress for the next three months.

Serbia: Payment of 50% of the net minimum wage for three months for employees in large private sector companies and for employees who are currently not working.

ET View: India needs to step up
GoI wants employers to not cut jobs or salaries. But words aren’t enough. Governments around the world have offered wage subsidies and other help for private sector. GoI so far hasn’t. If it wants to avoid layoffs and salary cuts, it needs to step up. GoI should forget all normal rules on wage subsidies and target groups, be bold and imaginative like many other governments. It must extend cash help across the board to employers. Only helping small fi rms will be myopic as big fi rms are as hard hit by the crisis, with some facing zero revenues. And when GoI does offer help, it must be generous. India’s workforce and their employers are staring at terrifying times – the government must help.

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