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Government announces €1.8 billion package for enterprises

The Prime Minister has announced a total of €1.8 billion package to aid enterprises in the wake of the Coronavirus spread. This includes the postponement of the payment of VAT, provisional taxes, employees’ taxes and social security and maternity fund contributions due during March and April 2020, and other packages intended at those who invested in teleworking equipment who will be eligible for a 45% refund of the expenses incurred by a company capped to the lower of €500 per contract employee or €4,000 per company. If needed, government is ready to commit an amount up to €900 million in the form of bank guarantees against credit and loans to sustain business continuity. The government also announced that local banks can accept all requests for a 3 month moratorium for personal and business loans.

Other measures include:

- €350 payment to employers for every employee who had to go into quarantine because of the virus;

- For those families with children who have both parents working in the private sector and cannot telework, the government will fund an additional two months of leave for one of the parents, which benefit shall amount to €800 per month;

- The government will inject an additional €210 million that will mainly be spent on healthcare and equipment;

- Enterprises and self-employed persons which had to shut down operations completely, and operating mainly in the hospitality and entertainment industry, will benefit from a subsidy on wages of two days per week per employee, based on a salary of €800 per month;

- Self-employed persons who had to shut down operations completely, and operating mainly in the hospitality and entertainment industry will receive two days’ worth of income every week capped at €320 monthly, whereas those who have employees will receive three days’ worth of income every week, capped at €480 monthly;

- Enterprises and self-employed persons which have experienced a decrease in trade of at least 25% will benefit from a subsidy on wages of one day per week per employee, based on a salary of €800 per month;

- Self-employed persons who saw their operations decrease by more than 25% will receive one day’s worth of income every week capped at €160 monthly, whereas those who have employees will receive two days’ worth of income every week, capped at €320 monthly;

- All persons including disabled persons who lost their employment as from 9th March will benefit from a temporary increase in their benefit of up to €800 a month for a specified period;

- Rent subsidies will be increased for those whose employment was terminated;

In order to curb abuse, any employers who will sack any employees during this crisis will not be able to hire third-country nationals. Furthermore, it has also been announced that a newly created department at JobsPlus has been set up in order to assist any workers who lost their job in finding a new one and, with immediate effect, applications for unskilled workers from third-country nationals will not be accepted until further notice. 

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