Economy Minister Silvio Schembri at today’s press conference
Maltese employers will start receiving money from the government to reimburse staff salaries for the months of March and April next week, with Malta Enterprise stating that Malta will become one of the first countries in the world to actually process these payments.
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said 12,885 companies have applied for the wage supplement scheme so far, requesting salary payments for 62,776 employees.
“We’re talking about an investment of €100 million in direct salaries to workers, a sign of trust in our workers and our people,” he said. “Our message [to employers] is clear that you were key in building our strong economy and the government will now support you to safeguard as many jobs as possible.”
“We’ll be one of the first governments in the world to release payments to workers through a wage supplement scheme,” Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia added.
Malta Enterprise has published two annexes for impacted sectors, with full-time employees falling in the first annex entitled to a monthly wage of €800 and part-timers entitled to €500.
Full-timers falling in the second annex are entitled to a monthly wage of €160 and part-timers to €100, rising up to €320 and €200 if they work in Gozo.
The first annex is meant to incorporate businesses, such as those in the tourism and entertainment industries, who have been critically hit as a result of restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while the second annex incorporates businesses who have suffered a hit but not as critical.
Payments will be backdated to the coronavirus outbreak in Malta, irrelevant whether the applications were filed at the start or have yet to be filed.
The money will be transferred to the bank accounts of employers, after which Malta Enterprise will send them a notice to confirm that their employees have been paid in full and that they are still employed with them.
Failure to pass on these funds to employees will be considered a criminal offence and Malta Enterprise is considering publishing a list of businesses who have benefitted from this scheme so that their employees will know they are entitled to a wage supplement.