The official notice with the details of the COVID-19 wage supplement has been published in the Malta Government Gazette of 13 April 2020.
The official notice with the details of the COVID-19 Wage Supplement has been published in the Malta Government Gazette of 13 April 2020. The notice is split in eleven sections giving details on (1) the definitions of key terms like 'employee', 'employer' and 'self-employed person', (2) the applicability of the scheme, (3) the scheme itself i.e. the benefits, (4) National Insurance Contribution and Income Tax, (5) payment of funds, (6) manner of application and supporting documents, (7) rights to publish information, (8) validity of application, (9) appointment of Malta Enterprise to manage the scheme, (10) offences related to the scheme, and (11) amendments to the scheme.
Worth noting are the following provisions, some of which are clarifications;
- Any COVID Wage Supplement is payable for the benefit of an employee and hence an applicant cannot claim any benefit on or from the said supplement. Any further support in relation to the same employment under any other scheme related to the COVID pandemic shall be adjusted accordingly so that assistance granted by Government shall never exceed an amount which is equal to the amount of COVID Wage Supplement being granted by Government.
- The provision of a COVID Wage Supplement does not exempt the applicant from his obligations towards his employees, as established by applicable laws and regulations.
- The applicant is to ensure that the provision of COVID Wage Supplement must not, at any time, result in a global salary package in excess of that employee's average basic salary for January and February, 2020. Should this occur, the applicant will be liable to effect a full or partial refund of the COVID Wage Supplement which shall be equal to the amount in excess of the employee's average salary for January and February 2020.
- Self-employed persons shall also be liable to pay National Insurance Contributions on the COVID Wage Supplement which they shall receive but at a reduced rate of ten per cent (10%).
- In order to simplify administrative processes, the funds will be forwarded to applicants who will be obliged to guarantee that the COVID Wage Supplement, is duly forwarded to the employee immediately upon receipt of such funds from Malta Enterprise and, in any case, by not later than the next salary payment due to the employee in question.
- Government shall reserve the right to make public any funds forwarded to applicants under this Scheme and details of the respective applicants. This measure may be taken also in order for employees to know of their eligibility for the COVID Wage Supplement under the scheme and to have cognizance as to whether their employer has received any funds from Government under the scheme which he was obliged to forward to them.
- It is a criminal offence to submit applications containing false information; and/or to hold on to funds forwarded under the scheme with the obligation that such funds are forwarded to one's employees in terms of the scheme.
Originally published 14 April 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.