Financial aid package and measures introduced in light of COVID-19

18 March 2020

In addition to the measures announced earlier this week, this evening the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and Financial Services and the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses announced a number of measures aimed at supporting the business community against the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures announced have a value of around €1.8bn, which represents around 12.9% of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019. A summary of the announced measures is set out below.

General economic measures

  • Liquidity injection and bank guarantees of up to €1.6bn consisting of:

    • Deferral of tax payments as previously announced (resulting in expected deferred tax payments estimated at between €400m and €700m)

    • €150m of bank guarantees

    • €750m of soft loans

  • Possibility of requesting a three-month moratorium for both personal and business loans.

  • Provision of guarantees by the Government of up to €900m thereby making credit of €4.5bn available.

  • €210m of funds (equal to 1.5% of Malta’s GDP in 2019) being made available to cover expenditure resulting from COVID-19.

  • An additional €35m have been added to the health budget to fund additional expenditure necessary for acquiring health related equipment and supplies required to fight COVID-19. Government is also committing to increase this amount should this become necessary.

Measures linked to employment

  • A grant of €350 per employee to businesses that have or had employees on quarantine, whether this is mandatory or self-imposed due to possible contact with individuals directly at risk of infection. This grant is available only in respect of full-time employees. The application form for this measure may be accessed here.
  • Employees of enterprises that suffered from a complete suspension of operations (e.g. accommodation, food and beverage, language schools and entertainment) will be entitled to a grant of 2 days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).

  • Self-employed individuals operating in the said industries will also receive a grant equivalent to two days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800). Those self-employed individuals having their own employees shall receive a grant equivalent to three days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800).

  • Where the operations of a business have reduced by at least 25%, employees will benefit from a grant equivalent to 1 day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).

 

  • Individuals whose employment has been terminated with effect from 9th March 2020 shall benefit from a temporary increase in unemployment benefit of up to €800 monthly (for a full-time employee) or €500 monthly (for a part-time employee).The application form for this measure may be accessed here
  • New measures linked to employment of third-country nationals:
  1. All enterprises terminating active employment contracts shall be denied the possibility of recruiting third-country nationals;

  2. Going forward only applications for highly-skilled third-country workers shall be considered;

  3. In case of job termination, assistance shall be provided to all third-country nationals to find alternative employment.

  • New service offering by Jobsplus to provide assistance to:

  1. Individuals who are resident in Malta and whose job has been terminated;

  2. Third-country nationals whose employment has been terminated. Assistance will also be provided in connection with work permit queries;

  3. Employers to seek new recruits.

Other social measures

  • The first measure applies to parents of school-aged children and both of whom work in the private sector but who cannot carry out their functions through teleworking arrangements.  Where, after 8 March 2020, at least one of the parents is required to stay at home to take care of their school-aged children, such parents are eligible to receive a direct payment of:

€166.15 per week if working on a full-time basis

€103.85 per week if working on a part-time basis.

This measure also applies to single parent families who have school-aged children. The application form can be accessed here.

  • Persons with disability who work in the private sector and are duly registered with Jobsplus, and who opt to stay home for health and safety reasons should be eligible for a direct payment of:

€166.15 per week if working on a full-time basis

€103.85 per week if working on a part-time basis.

The application form for this measure can be accessed here

 

 

  • Rent subsidies by the Government shall increase where a family member living in subsidised accommodation has his/her employment terminated.
  • Employees who had their full-time employment terminated as of 9th March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for the Contributory Unemployment Benefit and should be eligible for a direct payment of:

€166.15 per week if they had been employed on a full-time basis

€103.85 per week if they had been employed on a part-time basis

 

How can we help?

The details of these measures are still being communicated and further clarifications will need to be sought. We are continuing to follow developments and will provide updates as these become available.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists for further information or should you wish to discuss the effect of these measures in your specific circumstances or in those of your business/enterprise.

Click on a Partners' name to send an email.

At the back, from left to right:
Steve GingellDavid FerryMirko Rapa and David Valenzia

In front, from right to left:
Neville GattBernard Attard and Mark Lautier 

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