2 April 2020

Applications now open for support package

Applications can now be made for the Falkland Islands Government’s support package that was announced on 25 March 2020 for private sector employers with employees, as well as the self-employed who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is doing this to reinforce and support the strong public health action which the Falkland Islands Government is taking to protect the population and minimise the social and economic impact of this challenging issue.

How to apply:

Application forms along with other guidance are available through:

Falkland Islands Government -

www.Fig.gov.fk/covid-19

Falkland Islands Development Corporation –

http://www.fidc.co.fk/library/covid-19
If you need assistance filling out the forms, contact Sian Davies, Business Development Officer, at FIDC telephone 51211.

Relevant documents will be translated into Spanish and Filipino and posted to the websites within the next few days.

The package provisions apply to the following categories.

• All employees with symptoms who are advised by KEMH to self-isolate for 14 days will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay). Employers will be able to seek reimbursement of the costs of this measure from the Government, up to a cap of £1,250 for the 14 calendar days per employee for the period of isolation.

• All self-employed people with symptoms who are advised in writing by KEMH to self-isolate for 14 calendar days will similarly be able to claim a sum of up to £1,250 for the 14 calendar days of self-isolation.

• All “vulnerable” self-employed people who are advised in writing by KEMH to self-isolate for an initial period of 3 months, and who are unable to work from home, will be able to claim a sum of up to £2,500 per month for the period of isolation.

• All “vulnerable” employees who are advised by KEMH to self-isolate for an initial period of 3 months, and who are unable to work from home, will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay). Employers will be able to seek reimbursement for this measure from the Government, up to a cap of £2,500 per employee per month for the period of isolation.

• When private sector employees without symptoms are

o a) advised by KEMH to self-isolate due to a household member being symptomatic with a fever and with that household member having been advised by KEMH to self-isolate; or
o b) advised by the government to stay home due to being classified as a non-essential worker.
o and who in both instances cannot work from home, they will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay) for a period of up to 14 days.

• When self-employed people without symptoms are
o a) advised by KEMH to self-isolate due to a household member being symptomatic with a fever and with that household member having been advised by KEMH to self-isolate.
o or b) advised by the government to stay home due to being classified as a non-essential worker,
o and who in both instances cannot work from home, they will be able to claim a sum of up to £1,250 for a period of up to 14 calendar days.

All funds will be considered taxable and subject to the usual deductions from payroll.

If employees or self-employed persons are able to work from home during any period of isolation, we would expect them to do so and not to claim re-imbursement from Government.

These measures are designed to ensure that everyone can make the right choice to take necessary public health measures, for the benefit of all, whilst ensuring that the impact on the economy is minimised.

The Government will be announcing further measures to assist the private sector more generally within the next several days.

In addition, the Government continues to offer a range of benefits and allowances to Falkland Islands residents through the Department of Health and Social Services.

About the FIDC

FIDC acts as the national economic development agency for the Falkland Islands and is tasked to develop the commercial sector of the Falkland Islands by being one of the principal partners delivering the Economic, Rural and Tourism Development Strategies.

To help drive sustainable economic growth and assist in the creation of new jobs and opportunities, FIDC provides various forms of support and assistance to the Falkland’s business community.