Financial aid package and measure - COVID-19

UPDATE - 24 MARCH 2020

Further to the measures announced on Wednesday 18th March, yesterday evening the Government released additional measures with the aim to support businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and protect employment.

 

These additional measures have a value of around €70 million per month. All these measures will be applied retrospectively as from 9th March 2020.

 

Malta Enterprise will be launching an online portal to assist businesses to identify the measures for which they qualify, in accordance to their applicable NACE code and VAT registration number.

 

The key measures are:

 

Assistance to critically hit sectors

 

The main categories of business sectors that are considered to have been critically hit by COVID-19 will receive Government aid amounting to a total value of €44 million per month. These business sectors include the following:

 

  • Certain wholesale activities

  • Certain retail activities

  • Accommodation

  • Food and beverage service activities

  • Rental and leasing of motor vehicles

  • Employment activities

  • Travel agencies, tour operators and related activities

  • Security and investigation services

  • Service to buildings

  • Transport

  • Creative arts and entertainment activities

  • Personal services activities

 

Businesses in these sectors will be entitled to a grant equivalent to €800 per month of each employee’s monthly salary. This also applies to self-employed individuals working in the mentioned sectors. In cases where the monthly salary exceeds €800, the employer is expected to pay the remaining part up to a monthly salary of at least €1,200.  If for some reason the employer is not able to sustain the additional payment up to least €1,200, then an agreement must be reached with the involvement of the unions, the employees and the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER).

 

Assistance to less critically hit sectors

 

Business sectors that are less critically hit will receive Government aid in total amounting to €17 million per month. Business sectors considered to be less critically hit are the following:

 

  • Manufacturing

  • Part of the wholesale sector

  • Part of the retail sector

  • Warehousing

  • Information

 

In the case of such sectors, the Government will finance 1 day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800) per employee.  There is the possibility that this aid could also be increased to two days.

 

Part timers and Self-employed

 

All the above measures will also apply to part-timers on a pro-rata basis based on a monthly salary of €500.

 

All the above measures will also apply to self-employed persons. Self-employed persons operating in less critically hit sectors and employing individuals are eligible for additional assistance.

 

Gozo

 

In addition to the measures outlined above, the Government will be financing a further 1 day’s salary per employee based on a monthly salary of €800 for business sectors that are less critically hit. This is because business operations in Gozo may have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

How can we help?

 

The details of the above measures are still being communicated. We continue to follow developments and provide updates as they become available.

Contact us today for more insight and support

Jean Paul Debono – Managing Partner ([email protected])

18 MARCH 2020

On Wednesday 18th March, the Government of Malta, released a package of measures with the aim to support businesses that are struggling to cope with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure liquidity of affected businesses, protect employment and assist sectors that have been negatively affected.

 

The Financial Aid Package have a value of around €1.81billion, representing 12.9% of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product in 2019. The package includes €700 million in tax deferrals, €900 million in loan guarantees and €210 million direct injection to assist the economy, which include €35 million to health authorities.

 

The key measures are:

 

Business measures

 

  • As announced earlier this week, deferrals of income tax, VAT and NI payments for March and April for both employers and self-employed.

  • Bank guarantee schemes and soft loans for businesses up to €900 million. This is expected to release up to €4.5 billion in additional liquidity in the market.

  • Possibility of up to 3-month moratorium for personal and business loans.

  • €350 payment per employee to businesses who have had employees under a mandatory 14-day quarantine leave.

  • Employees and self-employed individuals who suffered from a total suspension of operations (such as, accommodation, food and beverages, language schools and entertainment) will be entitled to a grant equivalent to a 2 days’ salary per week based on a monthly salary of €800. Those self-employed persons operating in the mentioned industries who have their own employees shall receive a 3 days’ salary per week based on an assumed monthly salary of €800.

  • Businesses and self-employed persons who experienced a decrease in their operations of at least 25%, shall benefit from a grant assistance equal to a 1 day per week, based on a salary cap of €800 per month.

 

Family measures

 

  • Individuals whose full-time employment has been terminated with effect from 9th March 2020 is entitled to a temporary increase in their unemployment benefit of up to €800 per month.

  • Families where both working parents work in the private sector and are unable to work remotely and thus are forced to take leave to take care of their children, are granted €800 government benefit per month (for up to 2 months).

  • Persons with disabilities who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and are unable to work from home, are entitled to €800 per month.

  • Rent subsidies by the government shall increase for families where one dependent had his/her employment terminated. 

 

Third country nationals

 

  • All enterprises terminating an active employment contract are denied the possibility of applying for third-country national workers.

  • Going forward, Malta shall no longer accept applications for new third country nationals. Only applications for highly-skilled third country workers shall be considered.

  • Assistance shall be provided to third country nationals whose employment has been terminated, to find alternative employment.

 

New Jobsplus services

 

  • To assist resident individuals whose employment has been terminated.

  • To assist third country nationals whose employment has been terminated and including assistance in connection with work permits.

  • To assist employers seeking new recruits.

 

How Can Debono & Associates Assist?

 

The details of the above measures are still being communicated. We continue to follow developments and provide updates as they become available.


Contact us today for more insight and support.

Jean Paul Debono – Managing Partner ([email protected])

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is a general commentary and should not be used, relied upon or treated as substitute for professional advice. Readers should take specific advice from a qualified professional when dealing with specific situations. Debono & Associates and associated companies reserve the right to change, modify or correct the information contained in this publication at any time without notice.

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