State support for businesses and employees has been extended until June 12 and if necessary for a further four months beyond that, the government announced on Wednesday.
The main aim is to eliminate the need for companies to fire employees.
“A four-month period has been set beyond June 12, whereby the support of employees and businesses will continue,” said Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou.
The government’s measures are in line with a global approach to cushioning the blow dealt by the Covid-19 lockdown.
“For example, if a company or worker’s turnover is 50 per cent less, by the time the programme concludes, then the state will cover that 50 per cent,” Amilianidou said.
The measures will cover a seven-month period in total.
Reducing job losses is the government’s way of ensuring the economy can restart as soon as possible.
She was also asked whether some measures concerning workers returning to work may be relaxed if the pandemic persists.
“The extent to which businesses and employees can return to work depends entirely on the epidemiological experts who decide the criteria for what can be done,” she said.
There are five different schemes launched by the government.
These are: parents taking leave to care for children, special sick leave for Covid-19 isolation, the self-employed, businesses that have completely suspended operations and for businesses that have particularly suspended operations.
When the financial support measures were initially set out last month, Emilianidou cautioned that any false declaration on the application forms constitutes a criminal offence.
In the government’s address to the public, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides also touched on some concerns he has heard from the public.
“It’s often misunderstood that the money is going to the bank, it’s not. I want to be clear: this is not the case,” he said.
“The banks are taking on risks.”
For parents taking special leave to care for their children (aged until 15) or for children with disabilities, the application form is here: https://www.pay.sid.mlsi.gov.cy/CovidForms/FormCovid001Servlet
For special sick leave (for confirmed carriers of Covid-19 and persons in self-isolation), the form is here: https://www.pay.sid.mlsi.gov.cy/CovidForms/FormCovid003Servlet
For self-employed persons: https://www.pay.sid.mlsi.gov.cy/CovidForms/FormEea5FreelancerServlet
For businesses that have completely suspended operations: https://www.coronavirus.mlsi.gov.cy/anastoli-ergasias
And for businesses that have partially suspended operations: https://www.coronavirus.mlsi.gov.cy/copy-of-sxedio-pliroys-anastolis
In addition, all persons working in the private sector must fill out form EEA6 with their bank account details, available here: https://www.pay.sid.mlsi.gov.cy/CovidForms/FormEea006Servlet
Benefit payments will be wired to the beneficiary’s bank account.