Watch: Changes in work conditions must be approved by the DIER

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Any changes in work conditions due to the coronavirus must be approved by the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER).

This was explained by the Minister within the Office of Prime Minister Carmelo Abela during a digital press conference on Wednesday.

Minister Carmelo Abela also said that employers need to inform the department if they cannot pay the difference in salaries to reach €1,200 per employee per month. Minister Abela said that apart from informing the DIER, the department itself has to approve of this.

Carmelo Abela was referring to what Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on the 24th of March – that the government will be paying the full salary of €800 over 60,000 employees whose livelihood is being directly threatened by the spread of the virus. Where the income exceeds this amount, the employer has to pay the difference up to €1,200 per month.

During the digital press conference, it was also explained that employees need to apply for quarantine leave with their employer upon presentation of the letter sent by the Superintendent of Public Health stating that the respective employee is considered as vulnerable.

It was mentioned that every report filed will be investigated by the department and employees and employers were urged to keep the necessary proof to back up their case if they raise their doubts with the department of Industrial and Employment Relations.

Minister Carmelo Abela said that during the past days 3,500 calls and 2,500 e-mails were received by the department. The most common concerns handled were related to changes in work conditions and mandatory quarantine leave during COVID-19.