Watch: Wage supplement scheme launched for three months

Businesses will now be given assistance according to the losses incurred during the pandemic

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The wage supplement scheme covering the period between January and March 2021 was announced by the government on Tuesday morning. The scheme was amended following various consultative meetings with the business community and the stakeholders.

The details were given out during a press conference addressed by Enterprise Minister Miriam Dalli and Malta Enterprise chief Kurt Farrugia.

The wage supplement scheme which was first rolled out last year when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, is aimed at job retention and assisting the business community and employees.

Minister Dalli explained that one of the main modifications in the renewed scheme is that the government will now also be giving the wage supplement to employees who have started working in May after non-essential shops reopened following their closure due to Covid-19 restrictive measures.

“If a chef quit his job, the employer would have lost the wage supplement he had been receiving for that employee and would not receive a wage supplement for the new employee. With the newly introduced modifications, the employer would receive a wage supplement for the newly employed chef,” Minister Dalli explained.

The Wage Supplement Scheme 2021 covers employees who were replaced in summer 2020 and will be paid from October 2020. However, the wage supplement will only be given to the equivalent number of employees that were employed until May.

According to the amended scheme, employers are now required to submit documentation showing that the employee resigned from the job out of their own will and that the new employees are enjoying the same work conditions as their predecessors. This is being done to ensure that no abuse takes place and that workers’ rights are protected, the minister stressed.

“We do not want to give any incentives to those employers who have fired employees,” Dalli said, adding that the new system is designed to be fairer in order to help businesses and self-employed who were hit worse by the Covid-19 economic fall-out.

60% of the applicants will be retaining their current wage supplement or will be given an increase. Businesses which incurred 55% or more in losses will be eligible to the full wage supplement of €800 while those who have registered a profit or have registered a loss of 9% or less over the previous year will no longer be eligible for wage supplement.

% drop in salesWage supplement monthly rate (gross)
– full timers
Wage supplement monthly rate (gross)
– part timers & casual workers
55% or greater€800€500
45% – 54%€640€400
35% – 44%€480€300
25% – 34%€320€200
10% – 24%€160€100
Increase in revenue up to 9% drop in sales€0€0
Supplement according to % drop in sales

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said businesses need not to re-apply as the agency will be making use of the original applications. If it requires more information, the employers will be required to submit it via email.