Watch: “Amendments to Malta’s Employment Laws are incoming” – Abela

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela said that the government will be discussing with social partners on amendments to Malta’s Employment Laws. This is in order to draft a legislative framework that caters to today’s and tomorrow’s employment needs.

Abela urged employers to be open with their employees, to help them understand the situation, mitigate fears and find alternative situations where required. He noted that employees’ fearing the situation is not a legally valid reason for them to not show up to work at places that are reopening. However, he stressed that employers must provide all necessary health and safety precautions at the place of work.

Minister Abela confirmed that the wage supplement is as yet still in place for the businesses that just reopened. Minister Abela appealed to all employers to make an effort to give the €400 top-up over and above the €800 being provided by the government (based on a €1,200 salary), as agreed between the social partners.

The Minister also commented on the future of the Department Of Industrial And Employment Relations (DIER). He said that his ministry is discussing potential new services that the Department can provide in a bid to be more proactive in helping businesses fall in line with the legislative framework. The intention should be to facilitate, help, and assist businesses to become compliant, said Minister Abela. 

On her part, DIER Director-General Vella Muscat said that one of the flexible measures being adopted is the banking of hours, for which employers are being granted permission in advance.  She appealed to employers to reach out on helpline 1576, where a team of trained inspectors are available to guide employers through the whole process. She reassured employers that the DIER is doing its utmost to get back with replies to their queries in a period of seven days. 

Minister Abela was participating, together with the Director-General of DIER Diane Vella Muscat, in a webinar organised by the Malta Chamber of SMEs on working conditions and regulations in the time of COVID-19. The session was hosted by the Chamber’s CEO, Abigail Mamo. Also present was Paul Abela, President of the Malta Chamber of SMEs.

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