March 15, 2020 / 12:33 PM / 17 days ago

Danish corona-hit firms get state aid to pay 75% of salaries

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark’s government told private companies struggling with drastic measures to curb the spread of coronavirus that it would cover 75% of employees’ salaries, if they promised not to cut staff.

Under the three-month aid period that will last until June 9, the state offers to pay 75% of employees’ salaries at a maximum of 23,000 Danish crowns ($3,418) per month, while the companies pay the remaining 25%.

“If there’s a big drop in activity, and production is halted, we understand the need to send home employees. But we ask you: Don’t fire them,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said told a news conference on Sunday.

Employees will be obliged to take five days of mandatory vacation or time off from work, she added.

The offer is one of several economic aid packages by the government to help companies and employees cushion the effect of tough measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The measures include shutting borders, closing schools and universities, and sending home all public sector workers with non-critical jobs.

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, Denmark has sound public finances with low government debt partly as a result of a slew of economic reforms over the last two decades.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Edmund Blair

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