The new National Employment Policy, which was unveiled in a press conference on 6th October by the Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, included 352 pages aimed at resolving the current issues felt by Maltese workers. The document is focusing on an employment strategy which is going to be valid until 2030.
Why was the policy needed?
Caruana highlighted that the main objectives of the policy are to equip workers with the skills the market demands, allow all people to have access to the employment market, stimulate business growth and establish institutions which will be responsible for the interactions between employers and employees.
Incentivise for retired workers
Incetivises were set up to benefit retired people who continue working after retirement age. Retired people will be encouraged to offer training or mentorship programmes at their places of employment or in trade schools. Some of them could also work with vulnerable groups and long-term unemployed people to help them join the labour market.
Improvement of skills
As outlined by Caruana, the focus should no longer be only the improvement of work skills but earning more for the work they do. Malta Business Lobby made a public declaration earlier this year that the school leaving age should be 18 years, not 16 as it is now. Another novelty is that a National Skill Consensus will be found to address the situation of the employment market, as well as a Skills Policy Council which will have to satisfy the shortages in the market and provide reskilling and training programmes for workers.
The policy has the idea of setting up an agency which will ensure the more transparent employment of foreign workers who embark on seeking a job in Malta on a temporary basis. It is known that many of the foreign workers were required to pay extortionate fees to agencies before settling in Malta. Thus, the establishment of those agencies will further help for the greater protection of third-country workers.
Besides life-long working, remote working and overtime working, with equivalence of overtime and part-time tax rates, will also be stimulated. Moreover, seasonal employment shall be limited with full credit of national insurance contributions. For satisfying the needs of the market, a job forecast which will give more information on the industries that will be directly affected by technologies will be created.
Author: Stephanie Marinova