Thompson: Tell me exactly how this plan works, because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Let’s say I’m a restaurant owner in Copenhagen who has to shut down my business for the next few months. I have 10 employees and, without income, I might have to lay off all of them in a week. I ask you for help. What happens now?
Hummelgaard: First, all of your employees would be eligible to receive income compensation as long as you keep them on contract. That means they are sent home, and the government pays you, the restaurant owner, up to 90 percent of their salaries—up to about $4,000 a month—which you would pay to the workers you still have on contract.
Second, the government would compensate you for fixed costs, like rent. For example, the government will pay a portion of your rent depending how much your revenue declines.
Third, if any of your employees get sick from the coronavirus, the government will pay their sick leave from day one. Generally, in Denmark, the employers are responsible for the first 30 days of paid sick leave.
Finally, we decided to postpone the deadlines of taxes like the value-added tax, and we’ve encouraged banks to extend credit to companies like yours.