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pr200687en

PR200687en

17/04/2020

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES


 

  • Commencement of payments for the COVID-19 Wage Supplement, Quarantine Leave and Telework Scheme
  • 17,000 businesses applied for the COVID-19 Wage Supplement through which 77,000 jobs are to be saved
  • Malta Enterprise to administer Government’s scheme on financial assistance to help businesses address liquidity difficulties

 

The COVID-19 Wage Supplement, Quarantine Leave and Telework Incentive Scheme payments started to be disbursed as from this week.

 

Details on the process of payments, pending applications issues and number of applications received with regards to the COVID-19 Economic Support Measures were given by Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri when addressing a virtual press conference accompanied by Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia.

 

17,000 businesses applied for the COVID-19 Wage Supplement through which 77,000 jobs are to be saved.

 

So far around €5 million have already been disbursed with regard to the COVID-19 Wage Supplement covering around 12,700 employees. This includes those benefiting from the partial COVID-19 Wage Supplement. The payments will be covering the months of March and April; an investment of €100 million.

 

Concerning the Telework Scheme, €81,124 have been paid out so far covering 64 applications. For this incentive, 291 applications were received of which 77 were approved whilst 214 are at evaluation stage.

 

With regard to the incentive pertaining to the refund to employers for costs incurred in order to support the employee’s Quarantine Leave, €49,350 has been already disbursed and this should increase to €171,500 covering 490 employees. For this incentive, 1298 applications were received of which 491 were so far approved and 807 are pending.

 

During  the press conference, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri announced that the Ministry, through Malta Enterprise, will be administering the Government scheme aimed at assisting businesses financially to address liquidity difficulties. He explained that through this scheme the Government is allocating €20 million a year which shall subsidise 2.5% of the loan interest rate on working capital loans obtained by businesses from banks.

 

Minister Schembri said that the Government’s strategy doesn’t stop at tackling COVID-19 impact, but looks ahead for when the storm passes and that it is through such implementation of measures that the economy will get back on its feet and regain its rhythm.

 

‘Discussions are well underway and a thorough analysis is being done focusing on COVID-19 economic exit strategy followed then by a restart strategy which shall include functionality measures for different businesses, assistance and amendments were necessary. In this regard, the Government will  work hand in hand with families and businesses to ensure a smooth transition post-COVID-19 and come out stronger’, said Minister Schembri.

 

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia explained that via email, applicants are receiving a list of individual ammounts for each employee that is eligible for the supplement. Applicants are then to decide whether they accept and agree with that amount, if they partially accept, and lastly whether they disagree with the calculation outcome issued by Malta Enterprise. In case of a partial acceptance or an unfavourable reply by Malta Enterprise, the applicant can reply to the corporation contesting its decision by providing it with more in-depth information supported with evidence.

 

Farrugia said that the way the application process is being conducted ensures efficiency, and that fair and just feedback is provided to the applicants. 

 

 

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