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FISCAL AND SOCIAL MEASURES
The government of Malta has reacted to the global pandemic by implementing a number of fiscal and social measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic per below.
A. Deferral of payment of taxes
VAT and tax payments due in March and April 2020 have been deferred to a later date as follows:
- VAT dues to be settled in two equal installments with the two quarterly returns immediately following the quarter whose dues would have been deferred
- All other eligible taxes, which were originally due in March and April, are to be settled between May and August 2020, in four equal monthly installments.
The eligible taxes include: employee taxes, maternity fund payments and social security contributions, social security contributions of self-employed, provisional tax and value added tax (VAT).
Deadline to apply for the tax deferral scheme is the 15th of April 2020.
B. Facilitating teleworking activities
• All undertakings are eligible, irrespective of size and sector, as long as the teleworking agreement commenced after the 15th of February 2020 and furthermore the employee is engaged in a role that can be performed via telework.
• The support by the Malta Enterprise is limited up to €500 per teleworking agreement and €4,000 per undertaking, in the form of a cash grant. The total support per single undertaking is capped at €200,000 undertaking over a period of 3 rolling fiscal years and capped at €100,000 for undertakings engaged in Road Freight Transport.
• The grant is to be awarded against 45% of the eligible costs* which must have been incurred after the 15th February 2020.
*(i) Purchasing and/or leasing of computer hardware (included operating systems) which are considered portable including installation and setting up of connectivity software.
(ii) Communication solutions (hardware and software) that allows different users to connect to their place of work (VPN, Point-to-point connection etc.)
Deadline to apply for the teleworking systems scheme is the 8th of May 2020.
C. Quarantine leave
Employers who had a full time employee on mandatory quarantine leave, including the employer himself, are to benefit from a one-off lump sum grant of €350. This benefit extends to those employers who had full time employees that were under obligation to quarantine themselves due to possible contact with third party individuals who were directly at risk of the virus.
D. Social Measures
• Where both parents work in the private sector and one of the parents is required to stay at home to take care of the children under 16 years of age, they are entitled to a direct payment of €166.15 per week if the parent works on a full time basis and €103.85 per week if the parent works on a part-time basis. Parents are not entitled to such benefit should they be able to work through teleworking arrangements. Single parents with children under 16 years of age are also entitled to such benefit.
• Persons with disability who work in the private sector and are registered with Jobsplus who opt to stay at home for health and safety reasons are entitled to €166.15 per week if they work on a full-time basis and €103.85 per week if they work on a part time basis.
• Employees who became redundant due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to the Contributory Unemployment Benefit and will receive €166.15 per week if their employment was of a full-time basis and €103.85 per week if their employment was of a part-time basis.
• Those employees who had their employment terminated may also apply to the rent subsidy schemes.
• Persons employed in the private sector, who are ‘Vulnerable Persons’ in terms of L.N. 111 of 2020 (PUBLIC HEALTH ACT (CAP. 465), Protection of Vulnerable Persons Order, 2020) and who were ordered by the Superintendent of Public Health to not go to work, who are not able to work from home and who are not being paid by their employer, are entitled to a medical benefit which may be applied for from here:-
E. Employment of Third Country Nationals
• Third country nationals are to be assisted by Jobsplus to find an alternative job.
• No new third country national applications will be received, except from highly qualified persons.
• Companies that terminate employment contracts may not recruit other third country nationals.
F. COVID-19 Wage Supplement
• All self-employed and full-time employees of enterprises operating in sectors that suffered drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or who had to temporarily suspend operations on the order of the Superintendent of Public Health** are entitled to five days’ salary, that is €800 per month. Those who work on a part-time basis are entitled to €500 per month.
• All full-time employees of enterprises in other adversely affected sectors*** are entitled to one days’ salary per week, that is €160 per month. Those who work on a part-time basis are entitled to one days’ salary per week, that is €100 per month. When the enterprise is Gozo based, then the full-time employees are entitled to two days’ salary per week, that is €320 per month and the part-time employees are entitled to €200 per month.
• The self-employed of other adversely affected sectors*** who have employees are entitled to two days’ salary per week, that is €320 per month.
• The self-employed of other adversely affected sectors*** that are based in Gozo are entitled to €320 per month.
• The self-employed of other adversely affected sectors*** that are based in Gozo and who have employees are entitled to €480 per month.
• Employees of the self-employed of other adversely affected sectors*** that are based in Gozo are entitled to 2 days’ salary calculated on a wage of €800 a month.
• When the employee is asked to not attend to work due to COVID measures taken by government, the employer is obliged to pay the minimum of €800 wage subsidy (less the employee’s national insurance contribution and government taxes) to the employee.
G. Further liquidity measures
• Companies and individuals may benefit from a three-month moratorium from banks on their business or personal loans.
• Companies may request operational loans with low interest rates and longer repayment periods.
• Companies affected by the COVID-19 situation that were to file their annual return and financial statements between the 23rd March 2020 and 31st May 2020 will be allowed to file them by the 31st July 2020 without being subject to any penalties.
**ANNEX A: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Annex-A.pdf
***ANNEX B: https://covid19.maltaenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Annex-B.pdf
Disclaimer: The above is not intended as legal advice. Anyone requiring assistance is encouraged to contact us directly.