Covid-19 : Supporting Industry and The Economy : Extending and Expanding the Package
On the evening of Tuesday 24th March 2020, The Prime Minister of Malta announced amendments to the last financial aid package provided to Maltese businesses and the Self-Employed.
A lot of what was mentioned is built on the previous financial aid package (Second Financial Aid Package), however certain improvements were introduced. The salient points are as follows:
Identifying and Supporting the “Significantly Impacted” Industries
One of the primary focal points of the amendments revolved around the identification of the Significantly Impacted industries. In addition, it was confirmed that the employers within these sectors shall be receiving the highest valued salary support package issued to date.
The Government declared that it shall be providing €800 towards every employee that is retained within gainful employment to all employers operating within the following industries:
- Food & Beverage service activities
- Renting & Leasing of Motor Vehicles
- Employment Activities
- Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and Other Reservation Services and related activities
- Security and Investigation Services
- Service to Buildings
- Creative, Arts and Entertainment Activities
- Personal Activities
*Specific Industries shall be identified by NACE code (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) and qualification for this benefit shall be based on that.
Applicability to Self Employed
Any self-employed individuals operating within these sectors shall also receive the sum of €800 per month from the government.
Commitment to a €1,200 base salary target
The Prime Minister also went on to declare that in order for employers to avail themselves of this financial aid, they must ensure that the related employees are to continue to receive the lower of their original salaries (effective pre 9th March 2020) or €1,200.
Provided this is done then all retained employees would be guaranteed a monthly salary of between €800 and €1,200 per month. Based on that identified figure, the Government shall be financing €800, with employers making up the difference.
Other related points:
- Should the employer have any issues making up the financial difference in pay, then they are to apply to the Department for Industrial and Employee Relations for special permission.
- Any salaries greater than €1,200 per month will be left to be managed between employers and employees.
- Financial aid shall be reduced to €500 instead of €800 in the case of Part Timers, and reduced accordingly for different working hour arrangements
Wages Support provided to employers within “Other” Industries
The Government also identified a short list of “Other” industries that shall be supported in the form of a monthly grant given to protect employment. It was also announced that any employers that operate within the “other” industries categories listed below, shall receive a sum of €160 per employee (1/5 of €800), this benefit will be doubled to €320 (2/5 of €800) for similar organisations operating in Gozo:
- Wholesale Business (Parts of)
- Retail Business (Parts of)
*The Specific Industries shall be identified by NACE code (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) and qualification shall be based solely on that.
Applicability to Self Employed
Any self-employed individuals operating within this sector shall be eligible to receive €320 (2/5 of €800) per month and their employees €160 (1/5 of €800) per month.
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