Public hol­i­days is­sue ‘a grave con­cern’ for em­ploy­ers

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

The elec­toral prom­ise to com­pen­sate work­ers for public hol­i­days that fall on a week­end con­tin­ues to be of grave con­cern for the GRTU, Malta Cham­ber of Com­merce, En­ter­prise and In­dus­try, Malta Em­ploy­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and the Malta Ho­tels and Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion.

The is­sue had come up for dis­cus­sion on Thurs­day, with Euro­pean Af­fairs and Equal­ity Min­is­ter He­lena Dalli hav­ing said that adding bank hol­i­days or giv­ing ex­tra leave days to work­ers are part of the pro­pos­als be­ing dis­cussed by the gov­ern­ment with the so­cial part­ners in its bid to im­ple­ments its elec­toral prom­ises of giv­ing em­ploy­ees an ex­tra day of rest for public hol­i­days fall­ing on a week­end.

But yes­ter­day the four em­ployer bod­ies con­firmed that in the past days they had held sep­a­rate meet­ings with Min­is­ter He­lena Dalli where they ex­pressed their grave con­cern and con­tin­ued op­po­si­tion to this mea­sure.

The op­po­si­tion stems from the fact that the four em­ployer or­gan­i­sa­tions be­lieve that Malta’s cur­rent growth must not be taken for granted.

Once ad­di­tional ben­e­fits are granted to work­ers, they will be con­sid­ered ir­rev­o­ca­ble ir­re­spec­tive of an eco­nomic slow­down which may threaten jobs.

The four or­gan­i­sa­tions re­it­er­ated that they are in favour of fam­ily friendly mea­sures and the im­prove­ment of qual­ity of life for work­ers as long as they are eco­nom­i­cally vi­able.

In a state­ment, the em­ployer bod­ies said, “Nev­er­the­less, we must re­main cog­nisant of the in­creased op­er­at­ing costs com­bined with the loss of pro­duc­tive days which are most detri­men­tal to Malta’s com­pet­i­tive­ness and fur­ther eco­nomic growth,” the em­ployer bod­ies said.

By def­i­ni­tion, when there are 4 public hol­i­days that fall on a week-end, the lat­ter mea­sure will cost em­ploy­ers around 2% of their to­tal wage bill.

This fig­ure will rise to around 3 per cent or more in cer­tain sec­tors, if the lost days are com­pen­sated for by over­time at a rate of 1.5 or at dou­ble rate.

“Dis­cus­sion on mit­i­gat­ing mea­sures for this pro­posal still need to take place. Op­tions for em­ploy­ers will have to go well be­yond what has been sug­gested by gov­ern­ment thus far.

“Real com­pen­sa­tion to pro­tect com­pet­i­tive­ness must be given to com­pa­nies en­sur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this mea­sure is kept cost neu­tral,” the state­ment said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.