Short-term allowance beneficiaries drop to 1.2 million

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The number of employees benefiting from the short-term working scheme decreased to 1.2 million in August, down from 1.7 million in July and 2.5 million in June, when the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic were eased.

The beneficiaries of the scheme had hit 3.2 million in April and 3.3 million in May, the Unemployment Insurance Fund figures showed.

Overall, nearly four million workers have received short-term working allowances since the eligibility criteria were widened in April. The total amount paid as part of the scheme in the last five months reached 19 billion Turkish Liras ($2.5 billion).

Under the short-term employment allowance scheme, the unemployment fund pays 60 percent of the staff salaries of the employees when a business cuts work hours.

Any firm forced out of business due to a force majeure, such as the pandemic, can ap-proach the government as part of the short-time working scheme introduced in 2008.

To become eligible for the short-time working scheme, an employee should have worked for at least 60 days in that firm and have paid 450 days of premiums for the last three years.

The unemployment fund is also paying a daily allowance of 39.2 liras ($5.2) to workers forced to take unpaid leave since a layoff ban was introduced on April 17.

Nearly 2 million employees on compulsory leave were paid 4.4 billion liras ($587 million) in the April-August period.

As of Aug. 31, the fund’s total volume fell to 112 billion liras ($14.9 billion), whereas it was around 131 billion liras ($19 billion) at the end of 2019.

Hurriyet Daily News

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