State aid: Commission approves Danish wage compensation scheme to support companies prohibited from operating due to coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Danish scheme to support companies that are subject to an operation ban implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme will be open to companies in all sectors, except financial institutions. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme aims at alleviating the beneficiaries’ wage costs, thus helping them to ensure that their employees can remain employed and receive their salaries, while the operation bans are in place. The Commission found that the Danish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support is limited to companies that are subject to a governmental prohibition to conduct business due to the coronavirus outbreak and that, for this reason, have no revenue and, as a result, no means to remunerate their workers. The Commission concluded that the scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58515 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.