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Watch: More days off work are hurting employers - MEA

Sick leave proposal seen as compensation for public days on weekends

Employers are facing a slew of measures which would mean employees are absent from work for more days – and if Malta is to keep competitive, something has to done to make up for it, according to Joe Farrugia, the director general of the Malta Employers’ Association.

Government intends to re-introduce days off in lieu when a public holiday falls on a weekend, and is also reviewing parental leave to look after sick children, among other measures.

The MEA came up with a controversial list of proposals in the run up to Budget 2018, which looked at the scenario as it would evolve over the coming five years – one of which was that the first day of sick leave was not paid.

He told Times Talk that this entitlement was by no means universal (see map below) and that in any case, there was nothing to stop the government from paying for the first day itself.

“It is not about abuse,” he said, referring to the reaction to the proposal which had drifted off onto this tangent, “ but there is definitely a deteriorating work ethic.”

READ: PM pours cold water on employers' sick leave idea

Mr Farrugia also tackled the Times of Malta story about the thousands of foreign workers needed to keep up with demand as the economy continues to grow, warning that procedures for non-EU workers needed to be as swift and efficient as possible.

Read: Thousands more foreign workers are needed to keep economy on track

Sick leave entitlements around the world. Source: World Policy CenterSick leave entitlements around the world. Source: World Policy Center

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