COVID-19 Third Financial Package: Wage Assistance for Employees
News    ·   25-03-2020
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AUTHOR: Donald Vella; Kirsten Debono Huskinson; Gabriella Chircop

Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may further avail from a third set of Governmental economic measures which have been announced by Prime Minister Robert Abela yesterday evening. This third financial package is estimated to cost €70million per month and will apply retrospectively as from the 9th March 2020.

The quantum of financial support granted by the Government will depend on the classification of the respective business under a sector which is deemed to have been critically hit by COVID-19 or otherwise.  The business sectors falling under each category (critically hit vs. non-critically hit) are outlined below.

Financial Aid - Businesses sectors critically impacted by COVID-19

A number of business sectors have been identified as being critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the business sectors which were hit the worst include but are not limited to:

  • Certain Retail activities;
  • Certain Wholesale activities;
  • Accommodation;
  • Travel agency tour operator and other reservation services and related services;
  • Food and beverage service activities; and
  • Creative, arts and entertainment services

The full list of sectors and activities, which is in line with the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) is available on the Malta Enterprise website (Annex A). 

What does the financial aid consist of?

  • Full-time employees & Self-employed: A government subsidy of up to €800 per month of each employee’s monthly salary will be granted to full-time employees of businesses operating in the above-mentioned critically hit sectors. This is also applicable to self-employed persons working in the said sectors.

In the case where the monthly salary exceeds €800 but is less than €1,200, the employer should pay the remaining €400.  Where the employer is not in a position to sustain the additional €400 payment, additional guidance would have to be sought from the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations in respect of any additional assistance which may be offered.

  • Part-time employees: The Government will finance up to €500 per month, per part-time employee of critically hit businesses.

Financial Aid - Less critically impacted business sectors by COVID-19

On the other hand, businesses operating within the following sectors are deemed to have sustained a lesser critical impact owing to COVID-19:

  • Manufacturing;
  • Certain other Retail activities;
  • Certain other Wholesale activities;
  • Warehousing; and
  • Information

The full list of sectors and activities, which is in line with the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) is available on the Malta Enterprise website (Annex B).

What does the financial aid consist of?

  • Full-time employees: Government will finance one day’s salary per week of full-time employees of businesses operating within the above-mentioned sectors, equivalent to a €160 subsidy per employee (calculated on a monthly salary of €800).  
  • Part-time employees: The same will apply in respect of part-time employees, equivalent to a subsidy of €100 per month, per employee.
  • Self-employed: these measures will also apply to those persons who are self-employed.

Gozo-based enterprises 

Specific measures have also been introduced by the Government to address the financial standing of Gozo-based enterprises amidst the COVID-19 crisis.  

Full time-Employees

Government will be financing an additional day’s salary (based on a monthly salary of €800) in respect of each full-time employee of Gozo-based businesses which operate within the less adversely hit sectors.

This means that in addition to the €160 grant given to Maltese businesses operating within the same sectors, Gozo-based businesses are also entitled to a further €160, and hence in total, to a combined higher subsidy of €320 per month, per employee.   

Self-employed

Likewise, self-employed based in Gozo and who operate within the less adversely hit sectors, will also be entitled to a 2 days’ salary per week equivalent to €320 per month in line with the above.

This will additionally increase to 3 days salary, equivalent to €480, for those self-employed who employ staff.

Part-time employees

For part-time employees of Gozo-based enterprises, the entitlement will be of €200 monthly per employee.

Payment of Wage Supplements

It is to be noted that all the above-mentioned employee wage supplements would be paid by the Government to the employers and not directly to the employees.

The conditions and details surrounding the implementation of each of the above employee measures are still a work-in-progress. We will continue to provide immediate updates as soon as any clarifications or additional communications are made available.

 

 

 

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