Factsheet for case MT-2020-11/274 – Updated – measures in Malta
|Country||Malta , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 09 March 2020 – 05 June 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
|Author||Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound|
|Case created||04 April 2020 (updated 15 November 2021)|
Due to COVID-19 certain groups of individuals considered at greater risk were advised not to go to work and to work from home where possible. Individuals with disability were considered to be at greater risk to COVID-19 than other groups of individuals. A benefit was created for individuals with disability who were employed in the private sector, who due to COVID-19 were advised not to go to work on medical grounds, but were also unable to work from home. To be eligible, individuals had to be advised not to go to work on medical grounds after the 8 March 2020.
Individuals who are registered with Jobsplus as a person with disability and have a special ID Number or EU disability Card issued by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability, who work full or part-time in the private sector, who were medically advised to remain at home after the 8th of March 2020, and cannot work from home are eligible.
Those eligible will receive a direct payment of €166.15 per week if they work full-time or €103.85 per week if they work part-time.
Furthermore, the social security contribution will be paid, and their future contributory pension rights safeguarded; disability assistance will continue to be received without deductions.
€13.2 million have been paid out to 8,360 beneficiaries for benefits related to parents, those with medical conditions, disability and those who applied for the additional unemployment benefit. A total of €17.5 million will be handed out by the end of June. A further breakdown is unavailable.
A 2021 prebudget document highlighted that more specifically, 379 person benefitted from the scheme for those with disability who were unable to work during the initial months of COVID-19, incurring a cost of €588,944.
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
This measure was announced by the Government as part of a second package of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement of such measures was precipitated by social partner pressure who aired their concerns publicly in the media and directly with Government. On the announcement of these measures, social partners stated that whilst the measures were beneficial, they were not sufficient. It was also stated that consultation was limited and insufficient. This changed a few days later when a third package was agreed between the social partners; the current measure was retained as part of that package too. The measure is administered by the social security department.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact upon business, and following consultation with social partners, the government initially announced a package of measures which included the deferral of taxes and financial support to incentivise telework. Following this announcement, employer associations publicly announced that these were insufficient and would not protect their businesses or jobs, stating the government instead needed to subsidise wages. These calls continued when on the 18 March, the government announced further measures including support for those who had lost their job, the disabled (including this measure), and for employers to subsidise quarantine leave. On the 24 March, the government announced a third package of measures which included support for wages and other measures previously announced. This third package of measures was announced by the government whilst flanked by union and employer association members. It was announced that this package was the result of tripartite consultation. Furthermore, following announcement of these further measures, employer associations announced their satisfaction with the package.
Eurofound (2020), Person with disability benefit who cannot work for medical reasons can apply for benefit, case MT-2020-11/274 (measures in Malta), 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.