Financial Measures of the Cypriot Government to support businesses and labour, due to COVID-19 effects
On Sunday 15th March 2020, Labour Minister, Zeta Emilianidou, unveiled measures to safeguard education, employees and vulnerable classes of the population as a result of the impact of coronavirus on the economy, which is projected to cost an estimated of 159 million euro.
The measures proposed include the granting of leave to private-sector employees who have to stay at home to take care of their children, unemployment benefits for employees working in companies that plan to temporarily suspend their operations or companies that experience a 25% reduction in their turnover, as well as sickness benefits and remuneration to those who teach in the afternoon schools of the Ministry of Education.
The Minister states that the processes shall be made clear and that the proposed benefits shall be received as quickly as possible.
Parents of children up to 15 years of age, working in the private sector, would be given extra parental leave lasting up to four weeks, excluding public holidays.
It was further stated that a parent with an income of up to EUR 2,500, for the first EUR 1,000 would be given a 60% ‘special leave’ allowance, and a 40% allowance will be given for the next EUR 1,000.
In the case of single-parent households, the percentage ranges between 70% to 50%.
It was explained that leave for parenting responsibilities would be provided only in cases where the nature of the work of the parent does not qualify for work from home or flexible working hours and that no assistance is received by grandparents.
In relation to the public sector, staff who wish to take care of their children should need to get approval from their head of department.
The cost of the grant is estimated at 20 million euro.
With respect to companies that have decided to temporarily suspend their activities and those who will continue to work but experience loss in their turnover greater than 25%, relevant business suspension measures should be set up so that layoffs are prevented and employees continue to earn a living.
At the same time, employees affected due to company’s suspension of activities would be given unemployment compensation for as long as the activities of their employer are suspended. The cost of this initiative is estimated at 110 million euro.
As regard to companies employing up to 5 individuals, a 70% subsidy shall be given for their staff, provided however that they have a turnover reduction of more than 25% and that there is no dismissal of any member of staff.
Employees suffering from serious health conditions and need to stay at home so that their health and safety is preserved will obtain a monthly allowance of 800,00 euro. A list of health conditions regarded as serious will be published by the Minister of Health in due course.
Self-employed individuals would also be compensated in the same way as employers, from the fourth day instead of the ninth day as it was until recently.
It has also been decided that the deadline for submission of objections to Social Insurance authorities for self-employed individuals shall be extended by one month, the deadline of which shall be on the 30th April 2020.
The development of mobile units to supply food and medicine was also confirmed to support elderly and disabled citizens who are alone and require state assistance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice.