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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-2021-27/2024 – measures in Cyprus

Special support scheme for the unemployed in the hotel sector

Ειδικό σχέδιο στήριξης ανέργων του ξενοδοχειακού τομέα

Country Cyprus , applies locally

    • – CY0 ΚΥΠΡΟΣ (Kypros)
      – CYZ EXTRA-REGIO NUTS 1
Time period Temporary, 01 July 2021 – 31 August 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Loucas Antoniou (INEK) and Eurofound
Case created 07 October 2021 (updated 14 October 2021)

Background information

The Scheme has been taken within the context of the emergency measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance as a response to the pandemic and in the frame of the COVID-19 Laws of 2020 and 2021. It aims to support the unemployed in the hotel sector registered in the Public Employment Service's Register by providing a special support allowance. The Ministerial Decision is recorded in the Decrees 332/2021 and 371/2021 issued in July 2021 and August 2021, respectively.

Content of measure

The terms and conditions for the inclusion of unemployed persons in this special unemployment scheme are set by the relevant Decrees as follows:

  • Any person, who is registered as a regular unemployed person in the Public Employment Service Register in July and August 2021, and s/he was receiving an unemployment benefit but s/he exhausted the right to payment in 2020 and has not been invited for training or participation in other Schemes of the Ministry of Labour or has not been unjustifiably refused employment.
  • Any person who has been employed in the hotel sector in the districts of Famagusta, Larnaca and Paphos is eligible for the unemployment benefits and s/he was made redundant between the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020.
  • Any person employed from 16 July 2021 onwards may be included in the Scheme and may be paid a proportion of the allowance.

The Special Allowance will be equal to €500 for a period of one month. The allowance shall not be provided for any period for which the unemployed person receives an unemployment, sickness, maternity and paternity benefit, a statutory pension or any other benefit from the Special Schemes implemented by the Ministry during July and August 2021.

Use of measure

For the moment, there is no official information on the number of unemployed persons eligible to participate in the Scheme or the number of the actual beneficiaries that received the allowance for July and August 2021. The sectoral trade unions estimate, however, that there are potentially couple of hundred hotel employees eligible to receive the allowance. Similarly, the effectiveness of the measure cannot be estimated, currently.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Unemployed
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
European Funds
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 Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level

Involvement

The adoption of the plan was initiated by trade unions who ascertain that a group of seasonal hotel employees (with permanent status and rights to unemployed benefits upon agreements) that lost their job positions due to the pandemic in 2020 and the closing of the hotels were left out of all the government's supporting schemes. Due to the restrictions for the operation of hotels in 2020, these employees did not complete the required contributions to the social security fund and thus constituted ineligible to receive the unemployed benefit in summer 2021. Following the reactions of the trade unions, the Ministry of Labor was forced to call the social partners for negotiations. A series of consultations were held, first with the leaders of the sectoral trade unions and then at a peak level with the general secretaries of the trade union federations to reach an agreement.

Views and reactions

Social partners appear satisfied with the positive outcome of the negotiations and the adoption of the Scheme by the government. They consider that the Scheme has satisfactorily helped the workers in the sector. However, they officially requested by the Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Security for the renewal of the Scheme as it only covered July and August 2021 but the need for support of this group of workers remains.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Special support scheme for the unemployed in the hotel sector, case CY-2021-27/2024 (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.