According to a CFA announcement on Thursday afternoon, clubs have the right to participate in the Schemes decided by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance in light of the COVID 19 pandemic, aimed at supporting businesses and employees in the private sector.

Two Schemes have been decided. That of complete business suspension and that of Partial Business Suspension:

A. Complete Business Suspension Scheme

This Scheme is available (i) for all businesses which terminated their activities following a governmental decree and (ii) the businesses which have a turnover reduction of at least 80% and whose activities are directly associated with those of the businesses mentioned in point (i) above.

Provided that (a) the club files an application, (b) is approved to participate in this Scheme and (c) the footballers are included in the Scheme, footballers must be aware of the following:

1. Their employment and the validity of their employment agreements are temporarily suspended, for as long as the club participates in the Scheme.

2. According to the Scheme, the club is forbidden to request and/or instruct the footballers to train either at home alone or anywhere else or to exercise any control in relation to their employment.

3. The benefit which players are entitled to is equal to approximately 60% of their average monthly gross salary in 2018.

4. A footballer’s average monthly gross salary is estimated by dividing the sum of all gross payments received in 2018 by 12 (see example in paragraph 8).

5. Any payments made to a footballer in 2018 which were not declared to the Social Insurances are not taken into account for the estimation of his average monthly gross salary.

6. Footballers which are not aware of the Social Insurance contributions paid on their behalf in 2018 can find them out from a Citizen Service Centre. It is noted that after the end of each year, the Social Insurance Services send by post to each employee the relevant statement.

7. The obligation to pay Social Insurance contributions is entirely on the club. Clubs are the ones which were obliged to disclose the true revenue of their footballers and pay the proper contributions.

8. Benefit Estimation Example

a) Sum of declared gross payments in 2018 = €12.000 (irrespective of when this money was received in 2018 and for what reason, as long as they were declared to the Social Insurances Fund).

b) Average monthly gross salary = €12.000 / 12 = €1.000

c) Benefit = 60% of €1.000 = €600 net monthly

9. Footballers for whom the total salaries declared to the Social Insurances Fund in 2018 were less than €3.528,72 are not entitled to this benefit. Nevertheless, they will be entitled to the benefit mentioned in the next paragraph.

10. Footballers who were not employed in Cyprus in 2018 and footballers who fall within paragraph 9 above, will be entitled to a benefit equal to 40% of their gross declared salary of January 2020 or the last month before January for which there exists data at the Social Insurances Fund.

11. The maximum monthly benefit to which a footballer shall be entitled cannot be more than €1.214 net monthly. Irrespectively of the amount of his declared revenue.

12. The benefit shall be paid directly by the State to the footballer’s bank account. For the payment to be made the footballer shall need to submit a form with the necessary information. If this form is not submitted, the footballer will not receive any payment.

13. For the duration which the club shall participate in the Scheme, it shall not be obliged to pay any salaries to the footballer. The wording of the Scheme does not clarify whether the club has the right, following an agreement with the footballer, to pay him any additional to the benefit amounts.

B. Partial Business Suspension

This Scheme is available for businesses the turnover of which, due to the pandemic, was reduced by more than 25% compared to the one for the same period in 2019 and expect that the same will also happen in April 2020.

Provided that (a) the club files an application, (b) is approved to participate in this Scheme and (c) the footballers are included in the Scheme, footballers must be aware of the following:

14. Clubs employing less than 50 employees (footballers and other staff) can include in this Scheme the 75% of their employees and clubs employing more than 50 employees can include in the Scheme the 60% of their employees.

15. Except for the cases mentioned in paragraph 17 below, the footballers’’ employment and the validity of their employment agreements are temporarily suspended, for as long as the club participates in the Scheme.

16. Except for the cases mentioned in paragraph 17 below, for as long as the club participates in the Scheme, its obligation to pay the footballers’ salaries is suspended. The same applies to the footballers’ obligation to render their services to the club, including their obligation to train.

17. Clubs and footballers participating in the Scheme and receiving a benefit, have the right to agree that the footballers’ employment will not be suspended. In such a case, the club has the right to instruct its footballers to train on their own but it will have to pay to the footballers all the remaining part of their salaries (over and above the benefit) as well as the Social Insurance Fund contributions applicable on this remaining part.

18. If clubs and footballers participating in the Scheme and receiving a benefit agree that the footballers’ employment will not be suspended, and provided the footballers agrees, the clubs are allowed to pay them an amount less than the remaining part of their salary.

19. Concerning the estimation of the benefit to which the footballers are entitled and its payment terms and conditions, everything mentioned in paragraphs 3 -12 above shall apply.

Important Notes:

(α) Due to the big differences in the footballers’ rights between the Schemes, it is extremely important that every footballer requests to be informed by his club about the Scheme to which it participates or shall participate and whether the footballer was included in the footballers which the club wants to put under the Scheme.

(β) It is also noted that contracts which expire on or before 31/05/2020 are not extended automatically. An extension shall only be possible if the footballer accepts the extension and its new financial terms.

(c) For any questions or necessary clarifications, you can contact PASP, any time you like (+357 99497776 / 22466508 / 99244901 – info@pasp.org.cy).