The Malta Chamber stated that the granting of an additional day of leave should be postponed, or there must be serious cost-mitigating mechanisms.
In a statement, the Chamber explained that this is an ill-timed announcement during a sensitive period of the economy in Malta. Indeed, “this announcement is insensitive to the extraordinary hardship which the country’s productive sector has been placed under due to the Covid pandemic and its devastating effects on demand and the labour market”.
The Malta Chamber called for this measure to be neutralised by compensating measures to safeguard competitiveness such as a reduction of Employers N.I. contributions, compensation to private companies by means of a refund, or changes in sick leave benefits. It called for the Governemnt to reconsider these past proposals.
The Chamber said that alternatively, the Government should seriously consider applying the same “exceptional circumstance” proviso which already exists in the COLA mechanism legislation. This means that this measure is postponed until such time when the country is producing acceptable, positive levels of gross domestic product or to when the private sector can at least afford it.