*Extract from Chief Minister's announcement:

The BEAT COVID-19 measures are aimed directly at employees that are registered by their employer as being inactive during this period of pandemic.

Businesses that would otherwise be unable to support the continued cost of paying salaries to employees that are inactive in this period will be given the closest thing to a shot in the arm that the Government can give them.

Direct financial support to be able to retain their staff and pay them their salaries at a fixed rate.

And we expect businesses to take advantage of this and to retain their staff.

We have already taken measures to reduce all other costs to businesses except for the cost of paying their employees.

I will announce even more such measures and an extension of their application to all sectors except for some excluded sectors.

The excluded sectors will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

And now, in addition, all businesses, other than exempted businesses, will be able to immediately apply for the employees they register as inactive to be paid for by the Government.

This will give businesses the certainty that they can pay for their inactive staff for the period of the Covid pandemic.

It will also mean that no employer will be able to justify any mass lay-offs or redundancies.


Our BEAT Covid measures are aimed at protecting jobs, retaining employment, whilst ensuring that employers are further equipped to fund employees to receive an income sufficient to meet basic needs and put food on the table.

This measure will apply to full time employees, part time employees and self-employed persons.

It will apply to those on zero-hour contracts based on an average of the hours they worked in the first two months of this year.

But let me be clear with you.

These measures represent one of the largest incentive schemes any Gibraltar Government has ever announced.

But these BEAT Covid measures commit large amounts of public money to this community at a time of need and they are intended to be targeted exclusively at those who will need it the most.

So the Government will not tolerate any abuse of the measures.

Any amount claimed abusively will take money from those who need it most.

As a result, the mechanisms designed have a number of internal checks incorporated to ensure abuse is kept to a minimum and severely punished when identified.


The measures are designed to ensure employees receive a basic amount each month.

Claiming will require employers to complete an online form.

That claim will result in businesses receiving a monthly payment from the Government.

Those businesses will then have to pay the amounts received to each employee.

Businesses will NOT be entitled to retain or deduct any amount from the amount corresponding to each employee.

It will be an offence for them to do so.

In the case of the self-employed person, claims can be made by the self-employed person themselves who will receive the monthly payment direct.


In order to preserve the rights of employees, terminations of employment from 15 March 2020 will not be allowed without the specific consent of the Director of Employment.

The Director of Employment will not grant consent save in very exceptional circumstances for the registration of any such termination.

This is designed to ensure that employees at the start of this crisis are not somehow disenfranchised from the measures that I am introducing today.


To qualify, an individual will have to be registered by their employer in an affected sector, as an “inactive employee”.

An inactive employee will be a worker whose employer has experienced a downturn or cessation in business, and as a consequence of this downturn or cessation, has sent the employee home.

It does not include an employee who is tasked to work from home.

It is for employees who fall outside these categories and are otherwise unable to attend their usual place of work to carry on business.

These employees would otherwise have very likely been dismissed or been laid off or sent home without pay or on a reduced pay.

An Inactive person in the case of a self-employed individual is a person whose income is affected by the Covid emergency and who is consigned to their home by the lockdown measures announced.

We are moving fast on this as we understand that time is of the essence.

Employees need their income to put food on the table.

Employers need to know that they can continue in business with reduced employees or pay those who are rendered inactive by the Covid emergency.

There are much larger countries, with far greater firepower, who have announced measures but have not yet put together the details.

We are delivering on both the measures and the detail because we understand the immediacy and urgency of the situation for real people who need income.

I expect the relevant legislation to follow in coming days, with the first payments to employers so that they are in a position to pay their inactive employees by the end of April 2020.

We are also making arrangements so that we are able to continue these payments if necessary through the months of May and June, when we expect the economy to bear the brunt of the downturn in business.


Let me be clear again about the procedure.

The measures are not designed for the individual employee to access direct.

They are aimed at a claim by the business that is the employer or in the case of the self-employed person, by that individual.

We have prepared the form to be completed by employers or self-employed individuals online. Look out for Government social media to publish the online address of the form.

Each business needs to complete that form.

Employers who are subject of any closure orders will be able to access their place of work to obtain the details they require to complete the form.

It is fundamental that we are provided with contact details and the relevant bank details for the business.

These bank details are key as this is where the total of the BEAT Covid rate amounts will be sent.

The employer will need to inform us of how many of their employees will be designated as inactive.

The details we will require will include the name, position, tax reference number and the individual employee’s contact details (mobile and email) for each employee.

The form also requests information on whether each employee is full time or part time employee.

A person will be deemed to be working full time if they are working

7.5 hours each day or more.

If the person is part time the employer should provide the average amount of hours that individual has worked in any day based on the average for the period from 1 January 2020 to 15 March 2020.

The same is true for those on zero-hour contracts who have worked an average of less than 7.5 hours a day in the first ten weeks of the year.

This is important as this amount of hours will be used to pro-rate the daily rate for part-time employees.

We will have the PAYE and Social Insurance returns for this period and we will cross check against these records to ensure that no employer seeks to cheat the mechanisms being put in place.

Employers should note that there will be serious CRIMINAL penalties for providing false or erroneous information.

It is important to note also that the final section of the form contains a number of declarations to be made by the person completing the form.

Please note the importance of these as they include penalties for providing inaccurate or false information.


By doing these things, businesses will receive the relevant per employee of the BEAT Covid salary rate to remunerate their inactive employees.

That rate will be £1,155 per month for a full-time employee or a self-employed person and any fraction thereof for those who work less than full time.

So for example, an employee who has worked the average of 4 hours a day will receive £616 for a month.

These amounts will be paid TAX FREE whatever the cumulative income of an employee over the year might be.

The sums will attract no PAYE or SOCIAL INSURANCE deduction on the part of the employer, the employee or the self-employed.

Also, in order to ensure that no one is disadvantaged in the future, we will provide in law that social insurance records will be deemed as paid in April even though the Government has waived them.

The Government in turn requires the employer to process that amount which is paid to them and pass it on in its entirety and without deductions to the employee.

A failure to do this will result in criminal as well as financial penalties. Employers should heed this warning very carefully indeed.


The BEAT Covid rate has been based on the minimum wage of £7 per hour and is computed based on 7.5 hours per day and 22 days in any given month.

We are already working to reduce all costs for people so that the monies they need to live relate to the need for essential supplies for their families in this time.

Lenders are already prepared to defer mortgage and other payments, and I will say more about that later in my address.

So the income required is the income to buy essentials and not to fund different standards of living or lifestyles.

Employers are under an obligation to advise Government if an employee for whatever reason ceases to be an inactive person.

This can happen for example if the person returns to work.

And we hope to see may people return to work as soon as possible.