Frequently Asked Questions Relevant to Covid-19 Measures
Firstbridge has been receiving queries, feedback and suggestion points from a number of interested parties. We have summarised the most commonly asked queries below for ease of access to all:
Q – Can I personally apply for this scheme or does my employer have to do it? Am I automatically eligible to this if my employer had to close because of legal notice?
A – The Wage supplement assistance is to be applied for by the employer as an incentive to keep its employees receiving a salary.
Q – If my employer is eligible for the wage supplement, does my employer pass on the €800 received to me?
A – The wage supplement is given to the employer and is not a guaranteed €800 benefit. The €800 is paid out based on an “at least” monthly salary of €1,200. The benefit is also only given to employers for employees which are added on to the application.
Q – If I submit the wrong NACE code in my application, how can I rectify it?
A – If you have any queries relating to your application, it would be best to get in touch with Malta Enterprise by calling on 144 or emailing on [email protected]
Q – If I am Self Employed with no Employees, do I include myself as an employee within my online application?
A – Yes, as for the application process if you are eligible for the assistance and have no employees, you should include yourself as an employee..
Stay Home Parents – €800 per month for 2 months
Q – Am I automatically eligible for this if I am a parent?
A – One must apply to be able to take advantage of the benefit, if eligible. The assistance is available to:
- Parents who both work in the private sector requiring one of the parents to stay at home to take care of school-aged children provided that they cannot carry out their functions through teleworking arrangements.
- Single parent families who have school-aged children.
- Persons with disability who work in the private sector and are duly registered with Jobsplus and have opted to stay home for health and safety reasons.
Q – Can I make use of my unpaid leave instead of using all my annual leave?
A – The rules/guidelines do not stipulate that you must use up all your annual leave. The main requirement is for the individual who may not work from home and must stay home to take care of their children due school closures.
Employment and Terminations
Q – My employment has been terminated due to Covid19, what am I eligible for?
A – Should your employment be terminated as of 9 March 2020 due to COVID19, you may be eligible for a Contributory Unemployment Benefit. Jobsplus are also assisting those whose employment has been terminated to find an alternative job. refer to Social Security Measures
Q – How do I apply for the Contributory Unemployment Benefit?
A – There is no need to apply for the Contributory Unemployment Benefit. This is an automatic benefit once Jobsplus is informed by your former employer that your employment has been terminated due to COVID19.
Q – Can my employer change my conditions of work due to COVID19?
A – The employer must request permission from the Director General of Industrial & Employment Relations to temporarily change the applicable conditions of work as a measure for the survival of the organisation and retention of jobs. However this approval is granted as long as the employee/s are in agreement.
Q – Can my employer enforce forced leave?
A – The employer may decide to resort to ‘forced leave’ (as provided in S.L.452.115) as long as the employer provides the employee with a written statement explaining why forced leave is being applied before such leave starts to run. Employers should also refer to the DIER for guidance and potential confirmation on any similar changes.
Q – My place of work has been temporarily closed down, what happens now?
A – Where the place of work has temporarily ceased to operate either due to enforcement by the Government or due to a reduction in business leading for business owners to temporarily close their business, the employer should place employees on forced leave before proceeding to unpaid leave once the vacation leave entitlement has been exhausted.
Q – Am I entitled to quarantine leave?
A – Quarantine leave may only be given to persons who:
- are to undergo obligatory quarantine as advised by Supt of Public Health
- are advised by a health professional that an employed person must be placed in quarantine
- has been asked by their employer to be put in quarantine as a precautionary measure
- had to quarantine themselves in view of possible contact with individuals who were directly at risk of infection, such as living in the same dwelling or in the same workplace
The employer may then submit and application with Malta Enterprise to apply for the grant for each quarantined employee..
Q – Is Quarantine (Leave) in addition to vacation leave?
A – Quarantine leave is a special leave entitlement and is an addition to vacation leave and not part of. There are no minimum or maximum days for quaratine leave since this is determined on a case by case basis by health professionals.
Should you have any additional queries please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected]
We will be updating this article with any new relevant queries.