Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning launched the Jobs+ initiative, which is an active labour market policy endorsed by the social partners. Speaking at Lufthansa Technik in the presence of the social partners who sit on the MCESD, the Prime Minister said the scheme was based on a Union Haddiema Maghqudin proposal and its aim was to expand the workforce and ensure that workers were highly skilled and employable.
The government has brought in a number of mandatory conditions in calls for tender to ensure that contractors do not abuse of workers’ conditions of work – also known as precarious work. The Office of the Prime Minister said that the Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar, had written to Permanent Secretaries and other heads of government departments telling that the new conditions are:-
4. All employees are to be given a detailed payslip containing all relevant details including the amount paid, normal hours worked, overtime hours, hours worked on Sundays and public holidays, hours availed of as leave or sick leave, a breakdown of bonuses/allowances as well as deductions made (such as social security contributions and income tax;
5. Employee’s wages/salaries are to be paid only by direct payment in the employee’s bank account;
6. The tenderer is to guarantee that the relevant bank statements of wage/salaries’ deposit and copies of the detailed payslips are to be made available as and when required by the Director of Industrial & Employment Relations;
7. The contractor shall be obliged to specify the minimum hourly workers’ costs in tenders involving the provision of employees’ services and shall also provide a breakdown of the employee costs in tenders where the tender requires a global sum covering the services to be provided. Guidance from the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations will be sought by the contracting authority for an estimate of the minimum statutory hourly costs for the particular work in the specific sector which is being tendered for.
Apart from the above conditions which the tenderer must abide with, contracting authorities will also be obliged - for any contracts awarded - to keep accurate timesheets of the work carried out by the tenderer’s employees. The tenderer shall be bound to ensure that any employees provided to carry out services at the contracting authority shall be obliged to register their presence at the contracting authority’s premises on these timesheets. Where, following the award of any tender, it results to the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations, that a tenderer has not adhered in any way to the conditions of the contract and/or has in any way breached industrial and employment legislation, the Director shall inform the Director General (Contracts) with such breach. The Director General (Contracts) will terminate such a contract. In addition, the DG (Contracts) may also terminate any other contract/s that such contractor may have with any other Government Department or Public Sector Organisation. Contravention of the Health and Safety Authority Act may constitute sufficient grounds for the termination of any contract. No contract can be renewed before the above new conditions are agreed to by the contractor.
Over €2m are being invested in the Employment Aid Programme in Gozo, with hundreds of employees and a substantial number of businesses taking up this initiative, the Department of Information said.
The government has unveiled its plans for free childcare centres from April 1. Education Minister Evarist Bartolo said free childcare services will be offered to all working parents, who may opt to send their children to whichever childcare centre they wish, public or private. The childcare centres will be paid €3 per hour by the government. The scheme is aimed at encouraging mothers to work or to study. The free childcare services will therefore be addressed at working mothers and mothers who are still students, but not stay-at-home mothers. Mothers who are already in employment will be eligible for free childcare for their children.
More than 40 customer care workers employed on monthly contracts by the utility billing company ARMS will over the coming months join the company on a full-time basis. The decision was announced by Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi after visiting the company's head office in Blata l-Bajda. He said the move was part of the government's drive to curb precarious employment. The 40 employees are currently employed through a private contractor and paid €4.50 per hour.
Eleven female inmates showcased their delicately patterned draperies and curtains this morning as part of an initiative which will see them being employed by a private factory. The Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat, Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia and Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia were shown the draperies at the Corradino Correctional Facility.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today that employees with a low income will receive a financial top up benefit to their monthly pay from the State. He made the announcement during the launch of the National Employment Policy this morning held at the Radisson Blu in St Julians.
The Health Ministry today signed an agreement with the General Workers’ Union guaranteeing that their members will remain employed with the government despite the privatisation of the Gozo, St Luke’s and Karin Grech Hospitals. Health Minister Chris Fearne said the agreement reached with the union means that its members are guaranteed to be retained on the government payroll. A similar guarantee was signed with the nurses’ union on August 10.