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More than 250,000 Turkish firms apply gov’t funding for short working hours for employees: report

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More than a quarter million Turkish companies have applied for financial aid to implement a government-run program for short working hours for employees, according to the Ahval news website.

A total of 268,717 firms are seeking to place 3.04 million workers in the program, said Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, the minister responsible for family, labor and social affairs, the Dünya newspaper reported on Monday.

Forty percent of applicants are from the manufacturing industry and 15 percent from the wholesale and retail trade, Selçuk said.

The measure, which provides financial help calculated according to the minimum wage, is part of a series of steps announced by the government to combat the coronavirus under a 100 billion lira ($15 billion) financial aid package. Parliament has passed separate legislation that also allows firms to put employees on unpaid leave but has barred them from making workers redundant.

Selçuk said the government is continuing to accept the applications, which will be assessed and acted on as quickly as possible.

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