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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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-2020-12/346 – measures in Cyprus

Special sick leave allowance for vulnerable workers and for mandatory quarantine

Ειδικό επίδομα ασθενείας

Country Cyprus , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 16 March 2020 – 30 April 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Paid sick leave
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Case created 07 April 2020 (updated 06 May 2020)

Background information

The scheme addresses the vulnerable working groups holding a certificate from their personal doctors or Ministry of Health according to the Decree 127 of the Quarantine Law, Chapter 260 of the Minister of Health. The scheme aims to protect workers having particular health issues allowing their absence from work in order to protect themselves and the deterioration of the health condition. The Ministry of Health prepared a list with the group of workers considered as vulnerable.

Content of measure

The Scheme grants the special sick leave allowance to the vulnerable groups subjected to the virus including: persons who are listed as vulnerable as designated by the Ministry of Health, persons subjected to compulsory isolation and self-isolation, where the nature of their work does not permit teleworking, *persons affected with the COVID 19 holding a certificate from the Ministry of Health and d. persons aged 63-65 years who do not receive a statutory pension and fall under a, b and c categories holding the corresponding certificate.

The special sick leave is calculated at 60% of the value of the insurance units for employees and self-employed workers qualified under the Social Insurance Law. The maximum amount that would be paid as a special sick leave may not exceed €1,214.

On the 23 April 2020, the Cabinet amended the calculation of the payable amount to the beneficiaries in order to support as many employees as possible currently out of work or full-time work. For the purpose of paying the Special Sick Leave Benefit, the insurable earnings of the year 2018 will be taken into account, but in addition, a comparison will be made based on the declared salary of January 2020. The payable amount will be the highest amount that results from this comparison taking into account the 60% for both calculations.

Additionally, a minimum payable amount of €356 has been defined for beneficiaries, which amount is equal to the lowest statutory pension.

An additional amendment to the Scheme is the inclusion of persons over 65 years of age who do not receive statutory pension and continue to work.

Use of measure

The estimate number of beneficiaries is 20,000 and the available budget is €15 million.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Older citizens
The COVID-19 risk group

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:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level



Views and reactions

The government has consulted the social partners - trade unions, employers' organizations and political parties - and the outcome emerged is on an agreed base.


  • 07 April 2020: Special sick leave allowance (
  • 23 April 2020: Τη λήψη επιπρόσθετων μέτρων στήριξης των εργαζομένων αποφάσισε το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο (


Eurofound (2020), Special sick leave allowance for vulnerable workers and for mandatory quarantine, case CY-2020-12/346 (measures in Cyprus), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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