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FAQs Covid Wage Supplement Scheme – English Language Schools

REVISED AS AT 13/04/20

Annex A  

NACE code (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) 85.59 – Other education n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified)

EFL teachers

What is the amount of the wage supplement for persons employed with businesses falling under Annex A?

Employers are entitled to receive up to €800 per month for full-time employees employed on a 5-day week. Part-time employees (not employed full-time elsewhere) will be eligible to up to €500 per month. Casual part-time employees fall under the same category of part-time employees and will be eligible to €500 per month if they are not employed elsewhere, or receiving a grant from another business.

Who will receive the wage supplement? 

The employer must apply for the COVID Wage Supplement Scheme. Payments for wage supplements will be directly received by the employer through a bank transfer. Employers are obliged to pass on the full wage supplement received (to be received net of NI) to the employee.

Is the Wage Supplement a fixed amount, or does it vary depending on the gross salary of the employee?

The amount of wage supplement is a fixed amount and does not vary with the gross salary of the employee. 

Does the whole grant need to be given to the employee? 

The wage supplement needs to be passed on to the employee in full as received from Malta Enterprise. No FSS and NI shall be deducted by the employer. Employers are required to show the COVID Wage Supplement as a separate line in the payslip and FS3. Malta Enterprise will transfer an amount net of NI to the employer. The employer’s NI portion on the salary is however still payable by the employer.

If a business has been negatively impacted but is still open for business, with drastically reduced workloads, is a company obliged to retain the same conditions of employment for their employees when under the COVID Wages Supplement Scheme?

Employers are permitted, in consultation and in agreement with their employees, to change the working conditions of their employees. Changes to the working conditions require the permission of the Director General of Industrial & Employment Relations following the submission of a written request. Measures need to be reviewed every 4 weeks. Employers are expected to top up the full-time employees’ monthly salary, over and above the €800 under the scheme, up to a maximum of €1,200. Should any full-time employee feel that the capped amount of €1,200 should be raised by virtue of a significant discrepancy in salary, a board at DIER can be consulted to determine if an excess should be paid. With part-time employees, employers are not required to top-up the €500 and any top up is at the employer’s sole discretion to grant. 

If a business started to suffer a significant decline from the beginning of March, can it claim assistance under the COVID wage supplement scheme for salaries paid for March?

Employers are eligible to claim assistance through this scheme with effect from the 9th of March 2020. Malta Enterprise will determine the effective date following the assessment of the employer’s application. Any hours worked in the month of March must be paid in full irrespective of the current financial situation of the business, and should also include any paid leave taken, as well as the government bonus.

If a business has employees who are casual part-timers, can a business apply for them to receive grants under the COVID Wages Supplement Scheme?

Casual part-timers, who are appropriately registered with Jobsplus, are entitled to qualify for assistance under the COVID Wages Supplement Scheme. For avoidance of doubt, the Wages Supplement Scheme is only applicable to a person’s main employment.

Will employees who work online during this period lose their eligibility to receive the grant?

No, employees working online for their business do not lose their eligibility to receive the grant. Part-time and Casual part-time employees however, are invited to contact the union should they be working hours which exceed €500, but are not being paid the excess.

Malta Enterprise will be receiving a substantial amount of applications, so there is no indication by when Malta Enterprise will approve the applications at this point in time.

Preliminary indications are that employers whose applications were approved by Malta Enterprise may start to receive payment from mid-April 2020.

There is no definite date until when the COVID Wage Supplement Scheme will apply, however according to the Government statements, current indications are that the scheme will cover the months of March, April and May 2020.

Employers or employees are not required to pay back monies received under the COVID Wage Supplement Scheme. This measure takes the form of a grant and it does not need to be paid back.

For Further Assistance

Malta Enterprise has setup a dedicated webpage with notes to the application process. Furthermore, Malta Enterprise has setup the following dedicated communication channels:

  • covid@maltaenterprise.com  a dedicated email setup by Malta Enterprise for any additional queries. 
  • 144 available on weekdays between 8AM – 4PM