30th March 2020

The Application Form relative to the COVID Wage Supplement was today uploaded on the Malta Enterprise website and we welcome the fact that there are clarifications which have been provided, a number of which are being listed hereunder:

  1. For any period covered by a COVID Wage Supplement on the basis of a 5-day week, any assistance granted by Government to that same individual, covering the same period, as support under another scheme related to COVID Pandemic, will be considered as double funding. Funding for that period will be adjusted accordingly so that assistance granted by Government shall never exceed an amount which is equal to the amount of supplement being granted by Government to cover a full 5-day week.
  2. Employees being supported through a COVID Wage Supplement cannot be made redundant by their employer.
  3. The COVID Wage Supplement must be recorded separately on the employee’s pay slip and FS3 as ‘COVID Wage Supplement’.
  4. National Insurance on COVID Wage Supplements, as due by the employee, shall be deducted a priori; therefore funds disbursed to the employer shall be forwarded in full to each respective employee, as applicable. The employer shall pay his share of N.I. on the COVID Wage Supplement as disbursed.
  5. All COVID Wage Supplements are non-taxable in the hands of the employee.
  6. For employers having multiple P.E. numbers, a separate application must be submitted for each P.E. number, as applicable. In the case of employers having distinct activities under the same undertaking (P.E. number), it is recommended that a separate application is submitted for each.
  7. Groups of companies that have a centralized payroll should submit an application for each entity (indicating the activity of the entity and the employees assigned to that entity).

Does going online put one’s claim under Annex A at risk?

Any of us who have been following the social media platforms will no doubt realise that most businesses have shifted to operating online to some extent, primarily in an attempt to keep afloat and retain as many employees as possible.  Restaurants are a case in point, several having since started to offer meals online.

Do these businesses risk being disqualified from applying for the full Wage Supplement benefit if they were to show minimal revenue generation March onwards from said online operations?  It is augured that this not the case, so as to ensure that there still is the incentive for businesses to keep on coming up with innovative ideas so as to retain some form of operation and presence, and more importantly their employees on their payroll, during this challenging period.

How can we help?

We are monitoring developments in this regard and will provide updates as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, should you require any assistance relative to how your business may benefit from the previously announced Teleworking Scheme (extended deadline for applications – Friday 8 May 2020), Tax Deferral Scheme (deadline for application – 15 April 2020) and Malta’s Financial Aid package generally, please do not hesitate to reach out to us personally.

For more information, please contact Dr. Rosanne Bonnici, Tax Partner, on rosanne.bonnici@fenlex.com.

© Fenech & Fenech Advocates 2020

Disclaimer │ The information provided on this Update does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only.  This Update may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and you are advised to seek updated advice.