New financial aid measures were introduced by the Government yesterday 24th March which shall be applicable retrospectively from the 9th March 2020. These incentives will be held in place for 3 months.
The new incentives are two-fold:
- Those applicable to industries which have been impacted severely by COVID-19 and thus require their business to close and;
- Those applicable to industries which suffered a significant turndown in business.
The benefits will go directly to the employer based on the NACE Code under which that business operates.
Sectors with severe impact by COVID-19:
- A benefit of €800 monthly per employee will be paid by the Government, applicable to both employers and self-employed. This is equivalent to a minimum salary, with an increase of an additional €23 monthly to each individual employee or self-employed. The sectors mainly include retail operations, transport and accommodation businesses, food & beverage, employment agencies, entertainment and personal services, motor vehicle rentals etc.
- The above measure will also apply retrospectively to those business who have made redundant any employees from the 9th March to the extent that the employer re-employs such individuals.
- In light of those employees whose salary is above minimum wage but up to €1200, the employer will need to cover the €400 additional monthly salary. In those cases where the employer is not able to top up such amount, discussions will be held between the employers and the relative union on a case-by-case basis to agree on how this will be implemented.
Sectors which suffer a business turndown due to COVID-19:
- Government will increase the 1 day a week paid salary up to 2 days per week on the conditions that will shortly be announced. Those Gozitan operations that work in these industries will immediately be eligible for the 2-day salary payment without any pre-conditions.
- Those who are self-employed and have employees, the Government will pay for a 3 day week.
Other matters under consideration:
- Decrease on residential and commercial interest rates by commercial banks; and
- Expected flexibility from employees and employers on the new financial measures in light of any possible additional measures that might need to be undertaken.