59% feel their job was affected by the pandemic

The figures refer to preliminary results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the last two weeks of March 2020.

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

During the last two weeks of March, 59% of persons who had a job felt that their employment was affected with the onset of COVID-19, according to the National Statistics Office, NSO, which has published data on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market in Malta

The figures refer to preliminary results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the last two weeks of March 2020. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is an ongoing household survey aimed at gathering information about labour market trends. LFS data is comparable to other European Union member states.

The NSO explained that an Adhoc module was incorporated to the LFS core questions to gather data on the impact of restrictive measures introduced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Maltese labour market.

The data shows that 29% of the employed were not working during the last two weeks of March despite having a job.

Almost 80% of employed persons worked less hours than usual due to slack work and over one third of those employed in the last two weeks of March were working from home

The main changes experienced by the employed population;

  • working time
  • and/or place of work

Working time

One of the major changes experienced by the employed was a reduction in the number of working hours or complete absence from work.

Four out of every ten persons experienced a reduction in the number of working hours during the last two weeks of March. LFS figures indicated that while in 2019 employed persons worked on average 37 hours per week, during the last two weeks of March they were working 23 hours on a weekly basis.

In the last two weeks of March, the majority of those who worked less or no hours reported slack work related to economic reasons as the main contributor to the reduction in their working time, 78%.

A further 18% worked less hours because they took time off their job.

The closure of non-essential retail, food and accommodation, transport and recreation industries resulted in an increase in the number of persons being absent from their jobs.

Teleworking arrangements

Another major change experienced by the employed related to the usual place of work. Owing to the current situation, where social distancing is considered a priority, many employers made necessary arrangements for themselves and their employees to work remotely from home.

During 2019, 12 out of every 100 persons carried out work from home. The situation changed drastically owing to the COVID-19 crisis and, for the second half of March, 33 out of every 100 persons were working from home. This is an increase of 21 percentage points over the average teleworking shares recorded in 2019.

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