THE MINISTER WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER: Committed to providing the best health conditions for workers

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela, also responsible for workers’ conditions, announced that a study was carried out on mental health in the workplace. The study, commissioned by Novargo, was done in collaboration with the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER).

The aim of this research was to provide a more realistic picture of what is happening on a scientific level to be able to discuss the way forward on a national basis. Minister Abela said that, “Mental health in the workplace is an important subject that we must take seriously. The impact that mental well-being can have on people individually, our businesses in particular, and our economy in general, is too big to ignore.”

He further explained how this sensitive topic is important to discuss, as it involves a number of factors that are mostly related to the type of work carried out, the organisational and managerial environment, the skills and competences of employees, the resources available to employees to carry out their work, and the balance between work and home responsibilities.

To properly address these factors, we need to engage with a number of stakeholders. For this reason, Minister Carmelo Abela, in the presence of the MCESD Chairperson, Mr James Pearsall, proposed that this discussion be presented to social partners at MCESD level to be able to see their suggestions and what needs to be done.

In a presentation he gave on the results obtained from this study, Mr Joshua Zammit, who carried out this study, mentioned that almost ¾ of the Maltese workforce are satisfied with their life, and two out of every five employees experience high job satisfaction. Mr Zammit explained that almost half the Maltese workforce report varying degrees of depression symptoms and that one in four may require professional help. Anxiety and stress seem to be more common mental health issues among the Maltese workforce.

Diane Vella Muscat, Director General of the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations, stressed the importance of employers providing a safe environment for all employees and supporting those facing problems at the workplace, including with regard to mental health. She explained how this study was essential in order to give a broad picture of the mental health situation at work in our country which, despite affecting the worker himself, also affects the productivity of his work.

The Minister concluded that as a government we must better understand the level of mental well-being in our workers because we want to offer the best health conditions for workers and offer all the support we can to those facing these challenging si

Source: Office of the Prime Minister