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30-03-2020 14:54

Information by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance in relation to the Special Scheme for Self-employed Workers

The Special Scheme for Self-employed Workers is applicable from 16/3/2020 until 12/4/2020 for:

  • Self-employed workers who have fully suspended their operations according to the Decrees of the Minister of Health and the relevant decisions of the Ministerial Council given that the nature or/and the way they operate has not been altered, and
  • Self-employed workers who have partially suspended their operations, meaning they have a decrease in their turnover in the order of more than 25% during the month of March 2020 and they predict an equivalent decrease in turnover for the month of April 2020 as well, in comparison to the corresponding months of the previous year and the decrease in their turnover is exclusively a result of the state their operation entered due to the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic.  In case the operation was not in business then the comparison will be made with the months preceding March 2020.
  • Self-employed workers who are practicing any of the following professions cannot participate in the scheme:

Pharmacologists, microbiologists et al

Doctors (dentists are not included)

Veterinarians

Pharmacists

Operators of medical appliances and equipement

Insurance agents, insurance agents / salespeople

Kiosk owners, grocers, salespeople, mini markets

Manufacturers of dairy products

State institute teachers (their salaries will be paid by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth)

The reason the above professions have not been included is that their financial activity has not been particularly affected.

  • A fundamental prerequisite in order to participate in the Plan is that no employees have been fired since March 1st, 2020 and in case the application is approved, no employees are fired both during the period the business will participate in the Plan and during an additional period which will equal the period of participation in the Plan plus an extra month (except for reasons justifying dismissal without notice).  It is understood that businesses will not be able to fire employees for financial reasons during the abovementioned time.
  • The Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers (weekly) will equal 60% of the amount of the weekly total of insurable earnings, based on which the beneficiary had the obligation of paying contributions to the Social Insurance Fund for the fourth trimester of 2019.
  • The Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers cannot amount to less than €300 if applies to a period of four weeks and holds a maximum limit of €900 if it applies to a period of four weeks.
  • Self-employed workers who employ other persons may also submit on behalf of their employees an application for the Plan for Full or Partial Suspension of Operations.
  • The Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers is not granted for the period during which the applicant is receiving unemployment allowance, special sickness benefit, special unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, allowance of the Special Leave for the Care of Children or other similar provisions by the Social Insurance Fund.
  • A basic prerequisite for participation is that no employees have been fired since March 1st 2020 and for the period for which they will receive the Special Benefit for Self-employed Workers as well as during an additional period which will equal the period for which they will receive the Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers plus an extra month (except for reasons justifying dismissal without notice).
  • For the period during which the Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers will be paid, the self-employed worker is exempt from their obligation to pay contributions to the Social Insurance Services.
  • The period of contribution of the Special Allowance for Self-employed Workers will be considered as a period of assimilated insurance for the purpose of contributions to the Social Insurance Fund and the insurance account of the beneficiary will be credited accordingly.

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MP/II