The government announced Covid-19 measures to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on business of all sizes. Some came already with clear guidelines, some are just drafts at the moment but here’s what we know so far.
Covid-19 measures announced and for which guidelines have been officially issued
Facilitation of Teleworking activities
This measure is intended to support a business irrespective of size and sector to invest in technology that enables teleworking and to partially cover the costs of teleworking solutions. Support is up to €500 per teleworking agreement and €4,000 per undertaking. The cash grant shall be awarded against 45% of the eligible cost; which cost must be incurred between the 1st and the 30th of March, 2020.
To be eligible it is important that the role of the employee can be done through teleworking. Also important that there is a formal teleworking agreement and connects to the workplace via a VPN or any similar solution.
The following costs are eligible for this cash grant:
- Purchasing and/or leasing of computer hardware which is considered as portable including installation and setting up of connectivity software.
- Communication solutions whether hardware or software that allows different users to connect to their place of work.
This call closes on 30th March.
Covid-19 measures announced but for which guidelines are not yet issued
Postponement of payment of certain taxes
Under this incentive a business gets a two month extension to pay Provisional Tax, VAT and National Insurance Contribution on Salaries. This applies for taxes owed till end of April. The incentive is primarily for, but not exclusively to the tourism and hospitality, entertainment, transport and manufacturing sectors that are suffering due to the Covid-19.
Grant for employees on mandatory quarantine
A grant of €350 to the business for each employee that had to be on mandatory quarantine.
Enterprises that suffered from a complete suspension of operations (e.g. accommodation, food and beverage, language schools and entertainment)
Employees working for those enterprises can get a grant of 2 days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
Self employed persons operating in the said industries will also receive a grant equivalent to two days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
Self-employed persons who employ employees shall receive a grant equivalent to three days’ salary per week (based on an assumed monthly salary of €800).
Enterprises whose business has been reduced by at least 25%
Where the operations of a business have shrunk by at least 25%, employees will benefit from a grant equivalent to one day’s salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800). The same benefit will apply to self-employed persons.
A self employed who employs employees can get two days’ salary per week (based on a monthly salary of €800).
The government also announced that they will give €150 million of bank guarantees.
- All enterprises terminating active employment contracts shall be denied the possibility of recruiting third country nationals.
- Malta Enterprise has extended the primary deadline of submission of the application of the Microinvest Scheme from 25th March to 30th April.
- Malta Enterprise has also extended the deadline of the Gozo Transport `Scheme from 3rd April to the 3rd June, 2020.
Other Covid-19 measures
- Government will give a benefit of €800 per month for up to 2 months for families with school-aged children. Where both parents work in the private sector and are unable to work remotely and who require additional leave to take care of the children.
- Persons with disabilities who have had to stop working following the outbreak. Those who cannot work from home, are eligible to a benefit of €800 per month for a specified period of time.
Local banks have also pledged their support to the business community in these difficult times. The underneath table shows some of the main support measures proposed by the two main banks.
|Capital repayment holidays||X|
|Provision of direct working capital for customers facing short term cash flow issues||X||X|
|Three months repayment moratorium in Home or Personal Loans||X|
|Waiver of late payment fees on credit card||X|
If you think teleworking is an option to save your business, get in touch and we will do our best to help you benefit from this or other schemes.