The Federation of Employers and Industrialists (OEB) requests plans to support companies in the midst of increased uncertainty in a letter to the Minister of Finance, Konstantinos Petridis, the Minister of Labor, Zeta Aimilianidou and the Minister of Interior, Nikos Nouris. In the letter dated March 9, 2022, OEB requests that the process of granting licenses for employment of foreigners from third countries, as a priority to hotels, restaurants and companies related to the tourism industry, be continued and completed, while at the same time requesting the granting of employment permits to Ukrainian citizens. The following is the entire letter of OEB to the competent ministers:
1. Business support plans
New Business Support Plans that have been proven to be affected by the effects of the war should be developed based on real needs. The Plans should last as long as necessary in order to avoid bankruptcies due to the war and its side effects.
The Plans that were formed and implemented during the pandemic are a good basis for the formation of new support plans. We also consider it necessary to ask the European Union to create a new financial instrument within the framework or standards of the Next Generation EU and the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, given that each country & # 8211; Member State alone will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to finance support for the economy.
1. Employment Support Plans
As was the case during the pandemic, employment should be supported, in particular (a) in traditional tourist areas (free Famagusta and Paphos are based on Russian tourists) and (b) in Limassol, where many companies with activities related to Ukraine are based; and Russia. These two categories are expected to be disproportionately affected by the expected dramatic decrease in the number of Russian tourists/visitors but also by the consequences of imposing sanctions on Russia that affect all companies doing business with it. By supporting employment through special plans, jobs will be secured for the duration of this new crisis. The financing should be done as well as with the support of the companies, through a European financing mechanism.
2. Granting employment licenses of foreign third countries in the tourism sector
Despite the radical change of scenery due to the war, in case, as we hope, the situation normalizes, the tourism industry should be ready to fully serve and take advantage of the opportunities that may arise after the end of the state of emergency. The process of granting priority permits for foreign third country employment to hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses should be continued and completed as soon as possible. Despite the effects of the war and the uncertainty that has been created about inbound tourism, all the necessary permits must be given in advance so that the appropriate preparations can be made by the affected companies. Permits can be activated as long as the situation with the war allows.
3. Granting work permits to Ukrainian citizens
We reiterate the urgent need for emergency measures to help in the relocation of companies in Cyprus located in the war zone. Specifically, permits must be granted for entry, residence and employment of their staff, with a tourist visa and with the subsequent application of all the usual thorough checks and conditions for employment of foreigners in third countries.
Employment permits should also be granted immediately to Ukrainian and Russian citizens who are currently in our country as visitors and who, as it turns out, can not return to their countries. In addition to the above, we recommend the rapid granting of entry and employment permits to those Ukrainian refugees whom the Republic decides to welcome within the framework of the collective response to the humanitarian crisis from the large refugee flows.