More than a quarter of a million Turkish firms apply for coronavirus aid

More than a quarter of a million Turkish companies have applied for financial aid to implement a government-run programme for short working hours for employees.

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

Forty percent of applicants are from the manufacturing industry and 15 percent from wholesale, retail and 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 take the applications, which will be assessed and implemented as quickly as possible.