On 15 March 2020, the Council of Ministers held an extraordinary meeting and decided on the measures to be taken for the protection of employees and businesses, in view of the emergency situation created as a result of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The measures to be taken include the following:
1. The provision of Special Leave
During the abovementioned period of leave, an allowance shall be granted as follows:
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 of 60% of the salary shall be paid and for the subsequent €1,000 of his/her salary, a 40% allowance shall be paid.
In the case of single-parent families, the rate of payment of the benefit varies between 70% and 50% respectively.
Regarding the public sector, workers whose presence at the workplace is deemed necessary but are required to stay at home to care of their children, should arrange for their replacement in consultation with their supervisor.
2. Work Suspension Plan
In the businesses which, as it has been decided, must suspend their operations, as well as in the businesses which continue their operations but suffer a turnover reduction of more than 25%, the affected employees shall receive an unemployment benefit for as long as the businesses’ operations are suspended.
3. Small Business Support Plan
4. Payment plan for employees in the Afternoon Programmes of the Ministry of Education
It has been decided that an allowance, equal to the full remuneration received until now, shall be payable to the individuals employed in the Afternoon and Evening Programmes of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth. The plan shall apply to the Music Schools, Sports Schools, State Institutes of Further Education, Adult Education Centres, optional All-day Schools, Afternoon and Evening Programmes of the Technical Schools, and other service purchase programmes of the Ministry of Education.
5. Payment of Sickness Allowance
It has also been decided that a sickness allowance of an average of €800 per month shall be payable to the following:
6. Extension of the time period for submission of objections to the Social Insurance Services
Self-employed persons shall be able to submit objections to the Social Insurance Services for a further one month, i.e. until 30 April 2020.
7. Creation of mobile workshops to serve elderly and vulnerable people
It has been decided that mobile workshops shall be created in order to serve elderly and vulnerable people in relation to the supply of food and medicines, in case they are isolated and in need of state support.