European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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 MT-2020-11/274 Updated – measures in Malta

Person with disability benefit who cannot work for medical reasons can apply for benefit

Beneficcju ta' Persuna b'Dizabilita

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 09 March 2020 – 05 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 Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 04 April 2020 (updated 14 July 2020)

Background information

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.

Content of measure

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.

Updates

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

05 June 2020

This measure has ended.

Use of measure

€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.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Disabled workers
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
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: Unknown

Involvement

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.

Views and reactions

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.

Sources

  • 18 March 2020: COVID-19 - Disability benefit

Citation

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.