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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-2020-23/1621 Updated – measures in Malta

Gozo Telework Scheme

Country Malta , applies regionally

    • – MT002 Gozo and Comino/Għawdex u Kemmuna
Time period Temporary, 01 June 2020 – 30 September 2023
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 22 December 2020 (updated 30 June 2021)

Background information

In order to reduce commuting between Gozo and Malta, whilst also encouraging employment in Gozo, the Government via the Ministry for Gozo launched the 'Gozo Telework Scheme' which provides partial reimbursement of the cost of technological equipment as well as a salary reimbursement over a period of three years which is offered pro-rata according to the number of hours of telework allocated.

Whilst the scheme was not officially released as one to deal with COVID-19, it could be debated that its aim to reduce commuting as well as to facilitate work from home are both beneficial during COVID-19. The Ministry for Gozo did however state that the measure was inspired by the positive impact teleworking was having during COVID-19 and it was hoped that this measure would also aid in facilitating work-life balance.

Content of measure

The measure, administered by the Ministry for Gozo, can be used to support up to 10 workers. The scheme offers two levels of support:

  • partial reimbursement of 75% up to €850 on the cost of teleworking-related equipment for each employee;
  • salary reimbursement of up to €10,000 spread over a period of three years which will be provided on a pro-rata basis according to the allocated teleworking hours per employee. Organisations will receive €3,000 in the first two years and €4,000 in the third year.

Applications must be submitted by the 25 September 2020 and can be submitted by organisations in all sectors, with the exception of those: receiving aid in the fishery and aquaculture sector; those receiving grants in the agriculture sector (production, processing and marketing); receiving aid for export-related activities; aid contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods.

The scheme is aimed at organisations registered in Malta and eligible employees are to based in Gozo. To be eligible, the Employer must certify that the single undertaking has neither exceeded, nor will exceed with the aid granted through this scheme, the de minimis threshold of €200,000 (or €100,000 in the case of a single undertaking performing road freight transport for hire or reward).

Finally, the agreement and conditions laid for Teleworking between the Employer and the Employee must abide in its entirety to Subsidiary Legislation 452.104, Telework National Standard Order, Legal Notice 312 of 2008.

Updates

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

15 February 2021

It was clarified that the first payment for this scheme will be made once the first year of teleworking has elapsed.

It was also highlighted that the reimbursed amount would depend on the actual days granted, rather than those planned to take place. In order to be eligible, the minimum amount granted is for an average of two days per week and up to a maximum of four.

Use of measure

The scheme is one of five that pertain to the fund titled Gozo Business Schemes which totals €1 million for the year 2020. No further information is currently available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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

Involvement

The measure will primarily benefit the employment of workers in Gozo whilst also aiding with social distancing measures during COVID-19. Despite this, no specific involvement of social partners in the design and implementation of this measure were publicised. The Gozo Buisness Chamber however published a 'Post COVID-19 – Strategic and Policy Document' in May 2020 which amongst its key pillars highlighted the need for a Digital Strategy for Gozo. It was also highlighted that this Chamber was working alongside Government to foster the needed change.

Views and reactions

The Gozo Business Chamber was positive about Government's support in facilitating teleworking. It however also noted that whilst this was of value to some sectors, it would not provide support to other sectors such as those involved in manufacturing, retail, transport, and construction.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Gozo Telework Scheme, case MT-2020-23/1621 (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.