PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT: Decent work for long-term unemployed

Reference is made to the article ‘GWU will earn Euros 8.5m from government jobless scheme’ that featured today on The Sunday Times of Malta. The article penned by Mr Ivan Camilleri is grossly misleading and unfair vis-a-vis Jobplus and the GWU. Jobsplus has supplied Mr Camilleri with all the contract documents pertaining to the Community Work Scheme under a Freedom of Information Request. Mr Camilleri should know better that the ‘profit’ is by far less than the mentioned Euros 3,000. The author is conspicuously omitting the employers’ social security contributions and the mandatory bonus paid to employees which in all amount to almost Euros 1,400. The article does not mention either that the rate is fixed for five years or that the employer must absorb the annual cost-of-living adjustment. In addition, no consideration is given to the management and overheads incurred in the management of such initiative.

Thanks to this initiative, 600 individuals who were doing 30 hours of work a week while remaining on benefits, hence not benefitting from any employment related benefits, now have their position regularised. Between 2009 and 2015, individuals participating in the former Community Work Scheme received only 75% of the minimum wage without benefitting from any leave or sick leave.

It is worth pointing out that the offer submitted by the GWU was the most competitive at Euros 980 per month per employee. The highest offer received was 20% higher than the cheapest offer. The tender stipulated that the prospective employer should pay all workers the minimum wage.

Jobsplus tenders are awarded according to public procurement procedures. In the past years a number of social partners including trade unions have been awarded contracts following their successful bidding.

Source: Government of Malta.