The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) has revealed that over MVR 1.9 million has been issued as income support allowance for those who have had their livelihoods affected after changes to employment amid the Covid-19 crisis.
In a press briefing on Monday night, the Covid-19 spokesperson, Mohamed Mabrook Aziz revealed that the government has issued income support allowance for 488 individuals thus far.
The amount issued reaches MVR 1,967,000.
Introduced under the government’s economic relief package following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the income support allowance is being issued since May 20 and a monthly income of MVR 5,000 is provided under specific conditions.
According to the criterion, individuals who have been terminated, put on no-pay leave or suspended from their jobs are eligible for the allowance as well as anyone who was employed before March 1, whether they had an employment agreement or not. This includes individuals in probation and temporary positions, these individuals will receive an allowance of MVR 5,000 for the three-month period.
The three-month allowance, totaling MVR 15,000, will be awarded from April to June and aims to provide financial assistance to those who have had their lives and income affected by the pandemic and are unable to meet essential needs such as settling rent payments and others.
Further, individuals who have had their salaries reduced will get the difference of MVR 5,000 from their current income. In addition, those who have additional means of income will also receive the amount in difference if their earnings are lower than MVR 5,000.
Individuals who receive an income of MVR 5,000 will not be eligible for this allowance.
Moreover, the government notes additional stipulations that are required to be agreed upon including joining government skill-development programs.
They are also required to agree to accept any employment opportunities that may be presented to them through the Ministry of Economic Development’s Job Center.
Eligible individuals are to receive the income support allowance monthly, before the 15th day and are required to notify the Job Center if they find employment within the period. After this, they will not be eligible for the allowance. Further, applicants must be aged between 18 and 65 years and employed in the Maldives by March 1.
The regulations under the income support allowance state that criminal action will be taken against individuals who provide false information to the government when applying and it has been put into effect since publication in the government gazette.
A number of individuals had submitted complaints at the Minister of Economic Development’s Job Center due to termination and mostly about being put on no-pay leave.