Factsheet for case MT-2020-24/991 – Updated – measures in Malta
|Country||Malta , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 31 December 2021|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
|Author||Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound|
|Case created||13 July 2020 (updated 30 June 2021)|
COVID-19 had a marked negative financial impact on several sectors in Malta. By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed and announced by the Government on 24 March 2020. Amongst the measures in this package, wage subsidies were offered to sectors which were worst hit. During a 'mini budget' announced on the 8 June 2020, which aimed to regenerate Malta's economy, Government announced that organisations which were eligible for the wage subsidy were now also eligible to apply for a rent refund.
On the 24 March 2020, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was announced by the Government. The most meaningful of the measures announced was the COVID-19 Wage Supplement by which employers in specific sectors were to receive a sum of money per employee, which was in turn to be passed on to the said employees. The amount of money received from the government depended on the sector with the Government dividing organisations into 'Annex A' and 'Annex B'. Those in Annex A received a larger wage supplement than those in Annex B.
On 1 June 2020, Government announced that organisations listed in Annex A and Annex B, that have been granted the Wage Supplement will now also be able to apply for a rent refund grant of up to €2,500 by submitting their lease agreements.
Full details of this measure were published on 27 August 2020, this highlighted that the maximum grant of €2,500 was for those with a single premises. Those with more rental agreements (up to five) could receive a grant of up to €7,500. To be considered eligible, rent agreements must have initially been signed prior to 9 March 2020.
A budget of up to €50 million has been allocated for this scheme - no further information is available.
At the end of October 2020, Government announced that Malta Enterprise had received 4,405 applications from businesses and the self-employed while there are 4,954 individual lease contracts.
In March 2021, following a verification process it was announced that support was being provided to 850 organisations and 874 self-employed individuals; the first total cash injection provided was of €5.5 million, whilst the total of aid provided by this scheme is expected to amount to €12 million.
|Does not apply to workers||
Sector specific set of companies
||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:
By means of a tripartite agreement, a package of measures to save jobs and organisations was agreed on 24 March 2020. This was the third but most significant package of measures announced by the Government. Following this agreement, social partners remained in direct contact with the government highlighting their proposals of what was felt was still necessary to save the Maltese economy and jobs. In view of this, on the 8 June 2020, the government announced a 'mini budget' to help the Maltese economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, this was the fourth package of measures announced by the government. The current measure formed part of this package. Further information on the measure are yet to be published.
The re-issuing of a package of measures that included this scheme in April 2021 was said to be due to consultation between Employer Associations and the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development. The degree of consultation on each specific measure is unknown.
The fourth package of measures, of which the current measure formed part of, received public support from an array of social partners. Those positive and vocal about it were primarily business associations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of SMEs, the Malta Employers' Association, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), and the Association of Catering Establishments. The measure specifically about the rent refund however received some criticism from some employers as it was considered to be insufficient.
A September 2020 Malta Employers Association survey did not highlight high support for the rent refund by members; 8% considered it effective (in comparison, the Wage Supplement received a 62% rating).
In April 2021, it was announced that the rent refund scheme as well as several other schemes were to be re-issued. Reacting to this package of measures, the Chamber for SMEs (an employers association) welcomed the new financial assistance and highlighted that the package was the result of intense consultation between their members as well as with the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development. The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry also spoke favourably of the package of measures, noting that several were measures proposed by this Employers' Association. The measures were also praised by the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association and the Gozo Business Chamber.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|C - Manufacturing||C10 Manufacture of food products|
|C11 Manufacture of beverages|
|C12 Manufacture of tobacco products|
|C13 Manufacture of textiles|
|C14 Manufacture of wearing apparel|
|C15 Manufacture of leather and related products|
|C16 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials|
|C17 Manufacture of paper and paper products|
|C18 Printing and reproduction of recorded media|
|C19 Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products|
|C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products|
|C21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations|
|C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products|
|C23 Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products|
|C24 Manufacture of basic metals|
|C25 Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment|
|C26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products|
|C27 Manufacture of electrical equipment|
|C28 Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c.|
|C29 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Rent refund for companies, case MT-2020-24/991 (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.