PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR SOCIAL DIALOGUE, CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES: “Government is working on amendments to our labour law towards a more family-friendly approach to reflect today’s realities” – Minister Helena Dalli

Speaking during a business breakfast for employers on work-life balance and the use of family-friendly measures for both men and women, organised by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE), Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli emphasised the importance of combining the needs of the family and of work, which would benefit society as a whole.

Minister Dalli remarked how Malta has experienced an increase of six percent in the amount of women who entered the labour market in the past three years, following the introduction of various family-friendly measures, including free child care, pre-school breakfast clubs, and after-school services.

The Minister mentioned how Malta’s labour law should be amended to reflect today’s society.

At times, it is society which changes the law and hence, government has now started to address this reality to make our labour law more family-friendly to reflect modern times stated Dalli.

Minister Dalli said that today’s reality, whereby fathers are taking a more active role in the upbringing of their children, also allows them to invest more in such a relationship and experience the joy of being with their children. In this regard, Minister Dalli encouraged more men to participate and opt for family-friendly measures.

NCPE’s Commissioner, Ms Renee Laiviera, highlighted the importance of gender equality at work and in private life. She said that men are finding it more difficult to benefit from FFMs, due to gender stereotypes that have to be challenged. Ms Laiviera emphasised that further action is needed to enable men and women to reconcile the demands of remunerated work with the demands of non-remunerated work related to the home and family. In this context, Ms Laiviera encouraged employers to strengthen FFMs in their companies, and for both men and women employees, particularly men, to make use of such measures.

The topic was further discussed by a panel of speakers made up of employer’s associations, unions and employers.

The business breakfast was organised as part of a two year project co-financed by the European Commission entitled ‘Equality Beyond Gender Roles’, which will come to an end this year.

Source: Government of Malta