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Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case CY-2020-12/343 Updated – measures in Cyprus

Special scheme for self-employed workers

Ειδικό επίδομα αυτοτελών εργαζομένων

Country Cyprus , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 16 March 2020 – 12 June 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Case created 07 April 2020 (updated 06 October 2020)

Background information

The Scheme addresses self-employed workers who have fully suspended their operations and self-employed workers who have partially suspended their operations in accordance with the Decree 127 of the Quarantine Law, Chapter 260 of the Minister of Health. It excludes self-employed workers that their financial activity has not been particularly affected by the crisis such as doctors, pharmacists, operators of medical appliances, grocers, kiosk owners, manufactures of daily products and veterinarians.

On Wednesday 8 April, the President of the Republic announced the decision of the Cabinet to extent the measure up until 12 June 2020. Currently, the Ministry of Labour undertakes a legal and technical processing of the measure.

Content of measure

The basic prerequisite for participation in the Scheme is that no employee have been fired since 1 March 2020. Additionally, participants in the scheme should not dismiss any employee during the period of participation, during an additional period equal to the period of participation and plus an extra month.

The special allowance will be equal to the 60% of the amount of the weekly total of insurable earnings, based on which the beneficiary had the obligation of paying contributions to the Social Insurance Fund for the fourth trimester of 2019.

The allowance cannot amount less than €300 to a period of 4 weeks with the maximum limit of €900 for the same period.

Self-employed who employ other workers may also submit on behalf of their employees an application for the Schemes for Complete or Partial Suspension of operations.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

02 October 2020

Decree 129 lists the professions that are excluded from the scheme because their economic activities have not been affected by the pandemic such as: Pharmacists, microbiologists, physicians, veterinary physicians, insurers, medical equipment operators, grocers, minimarket and kiosk sales persons, diary producers and educators in the State institutes, which are eligible for a special allowance from the Ministry of Education. Decree 186/2020 removes veterinary physicians, insurers, grocers, minimarket and kiosk sales persons and diary produces from the list.

Use of measure

The estimation is that 40,000 self-employed workers may be benefited from the Scheme. The total budget available is €20 million.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Self-employed
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Social partners – trade unions and employers’ organisation – at the peak level were invited by the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurable to participate in consultation process during the designing phase of the Scheme. Political parties have been also invited in the consultation process during the designing of the Scheme. Sectoral trade unions and smaller organisations of the employers did not participate in the consultation process.

Views and reactions

Social partners and political parties encouraged the government to take such measures targeting the needs of different categories of workers based on their special conditions as formed by the pandemic. Reactions and disagreements on the scheme or on particular provisions have not been recorded. On the contrary, social partners appear satisfied with the measure and supportive to the government.

Sources

  • 16 March 2020: Decree 129, Law 27(1) 2020 'Emergency Measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurances for the Confrontation of the Pandemic of Coronavirus COVID 19' (www.mof.gov.cy)
  • 07 April 2020: Special scheme for self-employed workers (www.coronavirus.mlsi.gov.cy)
  • 13 April 2020: Decree 186, Law 27(1) 2020 'Emergency Measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurances for the Confrontation of the Pandemic of Coronavirus COVID 19' (www.mof.gov.cy)
  • 13 May 2020: Decree 237, Law 27(1) 2020 'Emergency Measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurances for the Confrontation of the Pandemic of Coronavirus COVID 19' (www.mof.gov.cy)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Special scheme for self-employed workers, case CY-2020-12/343 (measures in Cyprus), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.