Image source: koronavirus.gov.hu
“The vast majority of the recipients of the job protection wage subsidy launched due to the coronavirus epidemic managed to keep their jobs not only for the period of payment of the state subsidy for reduced working hours, but also well beyond that,” said Sándor Bodó. The Secretary of State for Employment Policy at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) said only 2.46 percent of the nearly 200,000 workers participating in the program, less than 5,000, were registered as registered job seekers at the end of November.
One of the most far-reaching measures of the Economic Protection Action Plan was the introduction of a job protection wage subsidy. The program successfully compensated for the consequences of the temporary decrease in the order backlog of enterprises, thus protecting the jobs and bread earnings of nearly 200,000 Hungarian employees.
The harmful consequences of the first wave of the virus crisis have been mitigated by the government through complex measures. ITM helped a total of about 280,000 employees with the three types of wage subsidies announced in the Economic Protection Action Plan. Wage subsidies and other measures (tax and contribution cuts, credit moratorium, investment incentive and loan programs, etc.) have improved the prospects and opportunities of a total of 1.4 million workers.
Building on the results of the post-2010 period, the measures in the action plan greatly helped the Hungarian economy to recover from the first wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Hungary remains one of the Member States of the European Union with one of the lowest unemployment rates. The number of registered jobseekers has been steadily declining for five months.
Sándor Bodó added that after the spring measures, the government took new workplace protection measures in the autumn, this time with targeted assistance. Sectoral wage subsidies help companies in the most difficult sectors, mainly tourism and hospitality, to stay afloat. Until 11 December, these companies can apply for a subsidy equal to one and a half times the minimum wage per employee, which has so far been applied for to maintain more than 20,000 jobs.