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

Factsheet for measure CY-2020-12/346 Updated – 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 – 31 October 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Paid sick leave
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 April 2020 (updated 19 January 2022)

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.


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

26 October 2021

Decree 435/2021 extends the implementation period of the measure until 31 October 2021.

27 August 2021

Decrees 334/2021, 373/2021 & 406/2021 extend the implementation period of the measure until 30 September 2021.

08 July 2021

Decrees 172/2021, 222/2021 & 273/2021 extend the implementation period of the measure until 30 June 2021.

12 April 2021

Decrees 19/2021, 87/2021 & 127/2021 extend the implementation period of the measure until 31 March 2021.

01 December 2020

The government extents the Scheme for another month with the Decree 637/2020 as the virus is spread extensively in the community and in order to provide the necessary protection to the vulnerable. The provisions of the new extended Decree remain the same.

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


Social partners – trade unions and employers’ organization – 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 organizations 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 vulnerable groups. 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.



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


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