The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania together with UAB Investicijų ir Verslo Garantijos (Investment and Business Guarantees) (INVEGA) published first call for proposals for wage compensation under the global grant instrument Business Start-up Subsidy. The instrument will be available for borrowers of soft loans under the financial instrument Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund 2014–2020 financed by the European Social Fund (EPF2). In total, EUR 16,000,000 has been allocated for the implementation of these projects from the European Social Fund.
Under the notified measure, micro or small companies and natural persons operating as sole proprietors or under a business certificate which meet the status of a SME under the SME Law and are EPF2 borrowers are eligible for compensation of labour costs for every employee working under an employment contract who will be paid at least the minimum wage.
The monthly fixed rate of partial compensation of labour costs of the project promoter’s employee(s) is set at EUR 498.48. The amount of the fixed rate will not be changed during the course of projects. The maximum available amount of eligible costs of the project will be up to 50% of the actual granted and used amount of the loan.
“Persons encountering labour market or business organisation difficulties, i.e. unemployed persons registered with the territorial labour exchange for at least 6 months, disabled persons, persons under 29 years of age, persons above 54 years of age, women and those who create and/or will create “green” jobs will be available to get the maximum amount of compensation” says Algis Skiautere, Acting Chief Executive Officer of INVEGA.
According to Algis Skiauterė, applicants which are part of the priority group, will be eligible for a compensation of 75% of the fixed rate for the wages of the employee. If the applicant does not belong to the priority group, it will be eligible for compensation of 50% of the fixed rate for the wages of the employee(s) of the applicant working under an employment contract. The amount of wages before taxes (gross) paid to the employee will have to be at least the minimum monthly wage. The maximum compensation availability period will be 12 months from the start of the availability period.
Two calls are scheduled to be published until 2020: EUR 8 million will be available for the first call and the second call is set to be published in the 2nd quarter of 2019. EUR 8 million will also be available for this call. The deadline for applications (under the second call) is 30 September 2020, the deadline for signing the grant agreements is 31 December 2020 and compensation will be available for wages calculated up to 30 September 2023. The partial compensation of labour costs will be made available to the project promoter in the form of de minimis aid.