Regeneration Measures by Malta Enterprise

ME

The below frequently asked questions were provided by Malta Enterprise during a webinar held on 14 July 2020.

1. Do we need to re-apply for the second term of the Covid Wage Supplement or it is automatically extended?

No need to re-apply, Malta Enterprise is getting in touch with companies to check if they need to review the application form for the new period (July-September).

2. How do you know if the company is still in Annex A or not?

Companies are advised to check the new Annexes uploaded on the website 

https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/wage-supplement-july-september/

3. Can employers add employees that were benefiting from Parents’ Benefit, Medical Benefit, Disability Benefit, etc. to claim their share from the Covid Wage Supplement?

Yes, employers can do this from the ‘Change Section’ within their application form. 

4. Are employees who have given notice and have ben replaced by someone new, will we be getting a supplement? 

No, new employees cannot be added to the application form.

5. For employees who were on Covid-19 social benefits till 05/06, will these receive the CWS backdated from 08/06?  

No, because this would result in double funding. Employees benefitting from schemes managed by the Department of Social Security can only be added by their employer to benefit from the Covid Wage Supplement once they stop benefitting from the schemes they have applied for themselves.

6.  What are part-timers eligible for under the Covid Wage Supplement? 

For the period July to September, part-timers are eligible to up to 500 euros per month (Annex A) or up to 375 euros per month (Annex C). If an employee’s engagement is reduced due to the current economic reality, employers are to forward to the employee the supplement based on what they deem the employee would have reasonably expected to earn during the period under normal economic conditions. An indicative benchmark may be the wage received during the same period or same activity levels in previous years. In the following month, the employer is to forward to Malta Enterprise a list of all those employees who were not eligible for the full 500 euro complement such that adjustments to the in subsequent disbursements would be made.

7. The covid wage supplement for part-timers was previously worked upon Jan-Feb. How will this be worked out now for July-September?

It will be worked upon the actual salary.

8. If a part-timer is not paying NI via the company (that applied for wage supplement) but via other employment, is the company (applicant for wage supplement) meant to receive the wage supplement for this part-timers? 

The wage supplement is only paid on the main income of the individual, so in this case it is the employer of his/her full-time job (or on which NI is paid) that has to apply for the wage supplement on behalf of the employee.

9. Which months do we need to take into consideration for part timers? 

This is taken on a case by case basis but with regards to seasonal jobs a like for like approach is adopted.

10. Will employees who where on unpaid leave since December 2019 and now returned to work in July be eligible to benefit from the Wage Supplement? 

If their employer had already applied, he/she can add them on in the ‘changes’ e mail.

11. Our company has an Italian employee since January 2020 but we did not include him in our initial application for Covid Supplement because he had no Maltese ID. He has finally obtained the Maltese ID. Can the Company now update it's  claim  back dated to March to date?  

Only if you can prove that you had recruited him prior to March 2020 and if he was working here legally.

12. Part timers which were on the list of employees on the appliction but were not given any wage supplement, do we need to add them just the same?  

Depends on the reason why they were not accepted.  If it’s because they are students or pensioners yes.  If it’s because they have a full-time job with someone else they will get rejected.

13. What happens if employee was employed after July. eg in Sept 2019? 

Only employees who were on the books of the business in March 2020 are eligible.

14. Since now part timers supplement will be worked on last year, this will also apply to students on part time basis? So if we had students started working this January they will not get anything?

Yes of course they will get it (unless they are students or pensioners) – that is why I said it is on a case by case basis, depending if the job is seasonal or not however students and pensioners are only eligible from July onwards.  In cases where we do not have an employment history to go on the evaluator together with the employer will assess the situation and reach a decision accordingly (like ask for employment contract, ask how many hours similar employees usually work etc etc).

15. What happens if an employer is eligible to apply for pensioners and the employer does not? Can the pensioner ask the employer to pay him from the employer's funds? 

The pensioner will have to discuss the issue with his employer, as we cannot make an employer apply for the WS.

16. If we have terminated pensioners and students in March and now want to get them back will we get the wage covid supplement or not? 

No

17. If you have a full time employee who is over 65 and hence does not pay NI, is he/she eligible to wage supplement?

It is the employer who applies for the Covid Wage Supplement, but yes as from July 2020, pensioners can be included in the application form for July-September.

18. Will pensioners be getting their full covid wage supplement or pro-rata on hours worked?

Employees are to be paid according to hours worked. 

19. From when can employers claim the wage supplement for pensioners, March or July?

The wage supplement is eligible for pensioners from July till September 2020.

20. Pensioners and students can now be added to the Covid Wage Supplement application. Can the employer not apply for the wage supplement so as not to pay N.I?

It is up to the employer whether to apply for the covid wage supplement or not.

21. In supplements given between March-June, companies were being asked to prove 25% loss in business. Is this still applicable and how is this calculated? 

No, the 25% loss in business is not being considered anymore. For companies to change Annexes, they have to present a case to Malta Enterprise.

22. When a company doesn’t agree with the decision made by Malta Enterprise, what is the way forward?

Companies that rejected the application have to wait for guidance from the Malta Enterprise, as we would need to review the application form again. 

23. How is the top-up of €400 being worked on?

Prior to July 2020, social partners at MCESD have agreed that employers should top-up the salaries of employees benefitting from the Covid Wage Supplement, up to a maximum of €1200 (€800 from Government + €400 from Employer for full-time employees). Now that most businesses are operating again, employers are obliged to pay the full salary to employees working full hours, unless there is an agreement that is stipulating otherwise by DIER.

24. Are there any exemption for companies that are now falling under Annex C, such as land transport, to change to Annex A?

Yes there could be exemptions based on sustainable evidence that the business is suffering major loss. 

25. In the website it is listed that ‘Annexes below may be updated periodically’, on what basis?

Updates are made upon government’s decisions.

26. From where can we obtain more information on the vouchers?

More information can be obtained from www.vouchersmimcol.com

27. Is the rent subsidy per lease agreement?

The rent subsidy is eligible as per Covid Wage Supplement application form, up to a maximum of EUR 2500. Malta Enterprise will be able to provide more information when the guidelines are issued.

28. Is the set up of a new website an acceptable cost under the Business Re-engineering consultancy?

The Business re-engineering consultancy scheme focuses on professional assistance needed by companites to put together new business plans and to explore new technological solutions. More information will be provided in the guidelines once published.

29. Are all measures exempt from the de minimis regulation?

No, not all.

30. What is the email address of Malta Enterprise?

For further information, one can contact us on [email protected]