Following the measures announced by the Republic of Cyprus to combat the effects by the spread of coronavirus in Cyprus we inform you about the package of measures announced for the financial support of businesses and employees.

 

Our company has decided to continue its operation without interruption, while complying with the restrictive measures against the spread of coronavirus and with a sense of responsibility towards all our customers and partners for the processing of their work regarding their compliance.

The company is also constantly monitoring the announcements in relation to the measures to support businesses and employees and will provide continuous information on the practical implementation of the measures announced yesterday 15/03/2020. We set out in detail the measures as announced yesterday by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

 

Financial Support program.

The "Support Program" includes the following supporting measures in relation to companies and employes:

AID AIMING THE PROTECTION OF WORKERS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS

Granting of a 'Special Leave' to Parents Working in the Private Sector for the Care of Children up to 15 Years of Age (up to Third Grade of High School) Due to Suspension of Attendance at Schools, Public and Private, in Nursery and Child Care stations.

The "special leave ", which may last up to 4 weeks at this stage, and which does not include public holidays, will be granted the following allowance:

For a parent with a salary of up to € 2,500: for the first € 1,000 of the parent's salary a 'special leave' allowance will be paid at 60% of the salary and for the next € 1,000 of his / her salary, a 40% allowance will be paid. It is noted that in the case of single parents, the rate of payment of the benefit varies between 70% and 50% respectively.

The permit will be granted to one of the two parents and if one parent receives the said permit, the other parent cannot obtain the corresponding leave at the same time. Also, if one parent is working / receiving an unemployment benefit / participating in a Work Suspension Plan and the other is not, the working parent is not entitled to it unless the parent who is not working has himself or herself been infected with the virus or is hospitalized or is a disabled person or is a person self-quarantined.  

Parent leave for childcare will be granted if the nature of their work does not allow teleworking or working from home or flexible working hours and if there is no internal assistance. The permit will be granted in consultation with the employer upon request.

This type of leave applies to the parents of persons with disabilities (regardless of age), provided that no care allowance is granted for such persons.

The period of special leave will be considered as an insurable period for social insurance purposes.

For the public sector, employees who are deemed as critical personnel by their respective Ministers but need to stay at home to care for their children should, the special leave can be granted after consultation with their departmental manager.

 

Operations Suspension Plan. For those businesses that are currently decided to suspend their operations and for those businesses that continue to operate and suffer a turnover reduction of more than 25%, a Business Suspension Plan is  in place to avoid layoffs and  at the same time affected employees will receive an unemployment allowance  for as long as the companys operations are suspended.

 

A € 10m Small Business Support Plan for businesses that employ up to 5 people, provided they retain their employees at work and have suffered of a reduce in their turnover by more than 25%. The Plan provides for a subsidy of 70% of employee salaries. The terms and conditions of the Scheme will be announced in the notice. 

   

Payment of 'sickness benefit' on average € 800 per month to:

  • Employees who have particular health problemsand fulfil the criteria set by the Ministry of Health, and must be absent from work for the purpose of protecting their health and not deteriorating it. Provision of a certificate by their personal physician is required.
  • Cases of compulsory absence from workby persons instructed or orders by the Authorities (Category 1 [compulsory restraint under medical supervision (quarantine)] and Category 2 [self-restraint under telephone surveillance]), provided that restricted employees hold a certificate issued by the Ministry of Health.
  • Persons below the age of 63 until the age of 65, who do not receive a statutory pension and continue to work and which fall under the categories 1 and 2 of the Health Ministry, provided that restricted workers hold a certificate issued by the Ministry of Health.
  • For the purpose of assisting self-employed persons, sickness benefit will be paid as for employees on the fourth day.

 

Extension of the time period for submission of application for lower contributions based on actual income to social security for self-employed persons for one month until 30 April 2020 (expires 31 March 2020) 

Postponement of the planned increase in GHS contributions planned for 31/3/2020 for two months, by employers, employees and the state,to strengthen the health sector in the fight against the virus and not to affect the incomes of employees and businesses. 

 

BUSINESS SUPPORT, ENHANCING LIQUIDITY AND STIMULATING INTERNAL CONSUMPTION

Suspension for two months of the obligation to pay VAT on business liquidity. It relates to companies whose turnover was not more than € 1m according to VAT declarations submitted in 2019 and companies whose turnover decreased by more than 25%, without imposing any charges and penalties. It is noted that arrangements will be made so that the debts will be paid progressively until November 11, 2020.This measure will increase the liquidity of businesses during the period in which they are expected to face a liquidity problem.

 

Reduction of VAT rates from 19% to 17% for a period of two months and from 9% to 7% for a period of three and a half months,as soon as the relevant legislation is voted to enhance the purchasing power of citizens and stimulate consumption. 

 

Special arrangements will be made for those who have been accepted in the instalment scheme of tax settlements for the duration of the emergency.

 

Extension for two months of the obligation to file tax returns for those who were required to do so by 31.3.2020. (new deadline 31.5.2020) 

 

Suspension of the requirement to retain guarantees under public and private contracts for the supply of services or products that will be delayed by the crisis. 

 

Support for Tourism Recovery. Additional € 11m of appropriations for the implementation of tourism support actions to Cyprus between June and September 2020, in cooperation with Airlines and Travel Organizers, as well as actions to enhance the attraction of tourists during the period October 2020 - March 2021.

 

Banking sector: The ECB has already studied measures in support of bank lending. Under the new measures, Cypriot financial institutions will be able to obtain liquidity from the Eurosystem on substantially favorable terms. The measures decided by the ECB include, inter alia, the release of capital stocks, which for the Cyprus systemic banks are estimated by the CBC in excess of € 1.3 billion. In addition, the Central Bank of Cyprus is considering further local measures which will be announced by the Governor of the Central Bank shortly thereafter.