On 24th April, the European Commission (EC) has approved Malta’s COVID wage supplement scheme amounting to a total of Eur215 million. This scheme is intended to support enterprises operating in the sectors which have been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework adopted by the EU Commission.
The scheme launched by the Maltese Government, finances the wage costs of employers that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, would otherwise have laid off employees. The scheme is accessible to business enterprises of all sizes (including self-employed individuals) that operate in sectors that are strongly affected by the current health crisis.
The EC found that the Maltese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the measure will finance part of the wage costs for employees that would otherwise have been laid off, (ii) the aid is proportional as it is capped at €800 per full time employee per month, and (iii) the scheme respects the maximum duration of 12 months. The Commission concluded that the Maltese measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.