News that Malta will continue to roll out a COVID-19 wage supplement after more non-essential businesses open has left some employees wondering when, and if, they’ll ever receive their first cheque.
The introduction of a wage supplement scheme in light of COVID-19 has been uneven, to say the least. Two months after the measures were introduced, some employees in the tourism sector have yet to receive their first cheque and have had to dig into their savings to survive instead.
“For the last two months we haven’t gotten anything from the supplement,” a hotel employee who chose to stay anonymous told Lovin Malta.
“We’ve had to use our savings for the past few months. Luckily our landlord hasn’t taken any rent money from us.”
Though some landlords have been kind enough to exempt rent payments for the time being, many fear that the easing of COVID-19 measures will see letting prices return to normal again.
“I started working at Mater Dei where I earn €300 per month from my agency. Some of my friends in different agencies haven’t been working but are still getting their €800.”
“The agency I work for says they haven’t received any money from the government yet. They said that we might not be entitled to it.”
Though hotels, restaurants and bars have been given the go-ahead to reopen, it will be some time until the tourism industry is back up on its feet, which could mean several more months of hardship, unemployment and no income for some.
“I feel that hotels aren’t going to open anytime soon.”
“Mater Dei has started to cut staff and they can call us anytime and tell us not to come to work.
“Without the government supplement, we have nothing.”
According to Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli, 200,000 jobs were saved by the wage supplement – 20,000 of which worked in the tourism industry.
However, some employees seem to have been left in the dust and face the possibility of another month without income.