The Government's proposal for a new restructuring protection package for those who have reached the age of 55 was referred to the Parliament for consideration on 21 April 2022.
If the Parliament will adopt the act on a new restructuring protection package, it would entail a new fee for employers - a restructuring protection fee for employers that discharge their employees. The restructuring protection fee could be levied on employers who discharge an employee on financial and production-related grounds and who has reached the age of 55 and has been employed by the employer for at least five years. The fee would not apply to smaller employers. According to the bill, the obligation to pay a restructuring protection fee would apply to employers that discharge their employees whose salary amount subject to unemployment insurance contributions in the year preceding the discharge exceeds the lower limit set for it. For example, in 2022, the lower limit of the salary amount will be approximately 2.2 million euros.
The Employment Fund would be responsible for financing the restructuring protection package and collecting the restructuring protection fee from the employer discharging employees. With the entry into force of the new restructuring protection scheme, the liability component for the unemployment insurance collected by the Employment Fund would be phased out for those born in 1965 and later.
According to the bill, a discharged employee would receive a restructuring protection package consisting of restructuring protection training and a restructuring protection allowance. Restructuring protection training would be provided by the Employment and Economic Development Office and would be worth no more than two months' salary of the discharged employee. The restructuring protection allowance would be paid by an unemployment fund or Kela and would correspond to one month's salary of the discharged employee. The Employment Fund would finance the restructuring protection package with a restructuring protection fee levied on the employer, with an equal share consisting of a portion to be charged to the employer discharging personnel and of a common share. The common part would be financed from all employers by raising the unemployment insurance premium.
The new protection package is part of the current government's 2020 policy to promote employment and the coping with work of those over 55. According to the bill, the right to additional days of unemployment insurance would be completely phased out for persons born in 1965 and later. The last age group eligible for the additional days of the unemployment insurance would be those born in 1964.
The aim of the new restructuring protection scheme is to speed up the re-employment of a discharged employee. The restructuring protection package would apply to all people over the age of 55 who have been made redundant on financial and production-related grounds and who have been employed by the same employer for at least five years.
If the act on restructuring protection will be passed, it will enter into force on 1 January 2023. The provisions on the new restructuring protection scheme would apply and the restructuring protection fee to be levied on the employer discharging employees would be charged if the employee was discharged on financial and production-related grounds on or after 1 January 2023.
With the reform, the Employment Fund will start levying a restructuring protection fee from employers.
Employees born in 1964 are the last age group whom the employer is obliged to pay the liability component.