EC approves €215 million Maltese employment aid scheme to support sectors affected by COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 news

8 May 2020

The European Commission has recently approved a €215 million Maltese wage subsidies scheme to support companies mostly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the containment measures adopted by national authorities. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended 3 April 2020.

The scheme aims to preserve employment and avoid lay-offs of employees at a time when many business activities are either suspended or significantly reduced. The aid under this scheme is in the form of direct grants and is intended to be accessible to companies of all sizes and also self-employed individuals operating in sectors that are strongly affected by the current health crisis and the containment measures adopted by national authorities.

The Commission established that this scheme complies with the conditions in the Temporary Framework. In particular:

(i) the measure partly finances the wages costs of employees who would have otherwise been laid off due to the pandemic;
(ii) the aid is capped at €800 per full time employee per month, and is thereby deemed to be proportionate; and
(iii) the scheme has a 12-month time restriction.

The Commission concluded that the scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to ease the harsh economic realities faced by the Maltese state, in line with article 107(3)(b) TFEU.

The full text of the press release of the European Commission may be accessed here.

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