Malta is set to extend its COVID-19 wage supplement scheme in the near future, but a leading business lobby has proposed that this should come with some strings attached.
The Chamber of Commerce urged the government to maintain this scheme until an eventual COVID-19 vaccine is administered but only give it to businesses who train their staff to render them “future-proof”.
Through this proposal, the Chamber is asking the government to incentivise businesses to use their COVID-19-induced downtime to improve the skills of their own people.
The wage supplement scheme, through which the government is paying businesses worst-impacted by the COVID-19 crisis up to €800 per worker, was originally set to last till the end of September, but Prime Minister Robert Abela has pledged to extend it.
Recent figures show that over 55,000 full-time workers and 8,700 part-timers received some form of wage supplement last August.
Besides this scheme, the Chamber of Commerce has also proposed extending the government voucher scheme, incentives to promote flexible working, tax deductions for parents who purchase IT equipment for their children’s education, and incentives for green buildings and electric cars.