Businesses have recommendations on how to avoid economic quarantine

Businesses have recommendations on how to avoid economic quarantine

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Katya Staykova, Director of Public Relations in Trakia Economic Zone, In progress, 03/27/20 

In Trakia Economic Zone operate more than 180 companies and none of them have stopped working so far. Production continues and some of them have reduced volumes. This was said by Katya Staykova, Director of Public Relations in the Trakia Economic Zone, in the program “In Development” with host Delyan Petrishki.

“We will send business recommendations to the government so that we can avoid economic quarantine. In the first place, logistics are extremely important for business, not only in the Trakia Economic Zone but also in Bulgaria generally. This means that the raw materials for our productions can arrive on time and our production can reach our customers on time. If the government can help us keep the trucks waiting for days at the borders, it will be extremely important”.

According to her, the other problem is the access of employees to the workplace, which hinders business financially and administratively.

“There are at least 3-4 factories in Trakia Economic Zone with at least 2000 employees. Every day, 4000 declarations must be printed by the administration for these employees. It is my personal opinion that checkpoints in district cities can become infestation points. When a police officer takes a document from an infected person and then gives it to an uninfected person, he accidentally carries the infection with his gloves”.  

The proposal states that you need an official note which should be issued from the company. The note has to be placed on the car window so without any contact, the authorities can check the document. According to Staykova, this would also facilitate the movement itself.

Other recommendations include postponement of at least 3 months of taxes, VAT and social security, providing low-interest financing for commercial banks with partial government guarantees and deferral of payments on corporate loans – to defer payment of principal for 9 or 12 months, including payments of these deferrals at the end of the credit period.

“Let there be clear and pragmatic safety requirements and have one standard. In the current situation, it is very important to have the same standards for all regions and all companies. Many of our companies have branches in other regions of the country and the sanitary requirements are different in different regions”.

Here are some of the other Trakia Economic Zone proposals:

  • Flexible staff cost models that allow employers to retain as many jobs as possible (for example, the possibility of sending on paid, unpaid leave or reducing working hours for a fixed period at the employer’s discretion).
  • To preserve jobs, most companies plan a combination of paid leave and non-working days in the future, according to Art. 142, para 2 of the Labor Code, a summary calculation of the working time. This tool has been used successfully for years, but now the situation is in a complete state of emergency and in its current form would not help. The mere six months provided for equalization of working hours are not sufficient in this situation, in which we need a longer horizon to normalize our activity, specify the Trakia Economic Zone.
  • Increase the reconciliation period from 6 months to 18 months. This measure would give the necessary flexibility in planning the operations and security to pay full salaries to the associates now against the possibility in the future to normalize the situation for them to work off what they paid. Otherwise, the funds chosen would be a combination of paid and unpaid leave, as well as limited staff cuts.
  • The state should accept for 12 months the payment of all sick leave, i.e., the first 3 days of sickness cash benefits.
  • Effective measures to combat fictitious hospital records. Imaginary patients aggravate company and national budgets. Control of doctors in this direction so that we do not “get infected” with the virus of fictitious hospitals.
  • Make clear rules to support businesses with 60% of wages in question. Business support is needed for a longer period of time (a minimum of 6 months) in order not to reduce full-time jobs. For example, for a period of 6 months after the end of a state of emergency, if all paid leaves run out and employees are to be fired, instead of that, the state should pay 60% of the state salaries before the state of emergency and that way the company should give the other 20%. So people will have at least 80% of their previous income and not be on the stock market.

Watch the whole conversation in the video.