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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 MT-2020-21/1044 – measures in Malta

Employment grant to promote access to employment

Access to Employment

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 21 May 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 24 August 2020 (updated 27 August 2020)

Background information

The Access to Employment (A2E) Scheme is a Jobsplus Scheme (The Malta Government Employment and Training Agency) to foster recruitment of the more challenged amongst jobseekers and inactive persons. These include individuals aged 24 or more who have been inactive or unemployed for more than six months, persons over 50 years who do not have a job, and any person who is a registered disabled person under national law and is not in full-time employment. The scheme had originally been in existence between 2015-2019. It was re-opened for a second call in 2020 with more advantageous terms, and some terms and conditions of this scheme needed to be revisited in view of COVID-19.

Content of measure

The measure aims to support access of individuals including: those who are aged 24 or over who have been unemployed or inactive for the previous 6 months; those unemployed for 12 months and during which they participated in traineeship with the applicant undertaking; those aged 24 and over who have not attained an upper secondary educational or vocational qualification (ISCED 3) and do not have a job; those older than 50 and do not have a job; or any person who is a registered disabled person under national law and is not in full-time employment, amongst others.

The Scheme is demand driven and grants are awarded on a first-come first-served basis, subject to the annual ceilings and total budget. The total available budget for the A2E is €12 million, with an indicative annual calendar year ceilings of around €2.4 million.

Subsidies provided vary depending on the classification of the employee. Compared to the 2015-2019 scheme, the 2020 scheme provides greater grants for all categories of recruits. During the 2015-2019 call, employers were eligible to receive a subsidy of €85 per week per new recruit engaged, for a period of 26 weeks, 52 weeks or 104 weeks, depending on the target group. In the case of registered disabled persons, a subsidy of €125 per week for a maximum of 156 weeks was provided. In the case of the 2020 subsidy, the amounts provided are €105 and €155 per week, respectively.

The second offering of this scheme coincided with COVID-19, consequently Jobsplus clarified that only soft copy applications submitted via email would be accepted, that the scheme could not be used to re-hire those terminated due to redundancies, and that employers could not continue to claim for this subsidy if wages were no longer being incurred due to employees receiving another COVID-19 related benefit (for example the COVID-19 – Person with Disability Benefit or the COVID-19 wage subsidy, both offered by the Government of Malta to prevent redundancies). However, it was clarified that employers could apply to reduce the hours of work of employees within this scheme (generally from 40 hours to 20 hours per week). For this to occur however, employers are to provide a copy of their correspondence with the Director of Employment and Industrial Relations, following which, the A2E will assess the request on a case by case basis and will inform the employer accordingly.

Use of measure

Between 2015 and 2019, 778 unique employers applied for the funding of 2,029 participants. 1,310 of these participants engaged with 573 unique employers, remained active in the scheme with a total of €7.9 million being committed. Jobsplus paid a total of €5.6 million to beneficiaries till the end of 2019. No statistics are available for the 2020 second call.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Older people in employment (aged 55+)
Disabled workers
Applies to all businesses Older citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Public employment service
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The measure was developed by Jobsplus, a government employment and training agency. Social partners are represented on the Jobsplus' board, which includes representatives of Employer Associations, Unions, Government, and also the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with a Disability.

Views and reactions

No social partner's views to this measure are available. The 2019 Jobsplus annual report however notes that "75% of the target set for participation has been reached by the end of 2019 as 1,262 unique participants have been supported against a target of 1,675. In addition, the output indicator target in relation to participants aged over 54 has already been surpassed by 2019, since there are 152 unique participants in the scheme against the 2023 target of 75."


  • 06 July 2020: Access to Employment (A2E) Scheme Access to Employment (A2E) Scheme (


Eurofound (2020), Employment grant to promote access to employment , case MT-2020-21/1044 (measures in Malta), 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.