The Slovenian Government has adopted several measures to help businesses, employees and other participants on the market, which were affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Below, there is a description of some of the most important measures implemented in the individual legal fields.
In the employment law, the State offers to reimburse salary compensations (100 %) paid by the employers to employees temporarily laid-off and to employees who cannot work due to force majeure. Moreover, the State will pay social security contributions for such temporarily laid-off employees and disability and pension insurance contributions (payable in April and May 2020) for all employees who work during this period. The State will also pay the salary compensation for absence from work due to sick leave or injury from first day onwards.
Banking and Finance
In the banking and finance sector, the State enacted the right of the borrowers (companies and private individuals) to apply for a deferral of their liabilities under the loan agreements concluded with Slovenian banks or Slovenian branches of EU banks. Banks must grant deferrals to borrowers who prove to the bank that they suffered liquidity problems due to the COVID-19 epidemic. In response, the State offered the guarantee scheme for bank loans which are subject to such deferral.
Restructuring and insolvency
There are also temporary changes in the field of restructuring and insolvency. The primary goal is to give companies time to deal with liquidity and solvency issues caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. For example, the management of the company is not obliged to file for commencement of insolvency proceedings if insolvency is the result of economic crisis caused by the epidemic wherein such deferral of the beginning of proceedings applies until the end of the 3-month period after the termination of intervention measures.
Litigation and enforcement procceedings
The State also enacted the provisional measures in connection with judicial, administrative and other public law matters for the control of the spread of COVID-19 epidemic. The act adopted therewith, provides for a general suspension of material and procedural deadlines in judicial, public and other matters, except in urgent cases. The State also enacted the provisional suspension of the executions of enforcement orders in enforcement procedures. Suspension does not apply to enforcements based on a claim for legal alimony and damages for lost alimony due to the death of the alimony provider.
Support of other institutions
There are also some other Slovenian institutions who offer financial support to companies due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. For example, special loans and financial support is available for companies by the Slovenian SID Bank, the Slovenian Enterprise Fund and the Slovenian Regional Development Fund.
Currently, the new intervention act (the so called second anti-corona package) is being discussed in the Slovenian National Assembly. The proposed Act on Providing Additional Liquidity to the Economy to Mitigate the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic introduces strategic measures to help the population and the economy, especially facilitating bank borrowing by companies for liquidity purposes.
Marko Zaman is General Secretary of the European Insolvency Practitioners Association