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Union suggests monetary compensation for public holidays falling on weekend

Equality minister Helena Dalli said this morning that in its first 100 days the government had held talks with all stakeholders on how, and not if, the pledge to return public holidays to workers would be implemented

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
14 September 2017, 10:22am
Minister Helena Dalli said that government had listen to all social partners and heard suggestions on how the pledge should be implemented
Minister Helena Dalli said that government had listen to all social partners and heard suggestions on how the pledge should be implemented
In its first 100 days, government has held talks, and heard suggestions, by the various social partners on how its pledge to return public holidays falling on the weekend to workers, could be implemented, Equality and EU Affairs minister Helena Dalli said this morning.

Addressing a press conference in Valletta, Dalli said that among the options on the table was for workers to receive monetary compensation, rather than time-off, when a public holiday is missed because it falls on the weekend.

“There was one suggestion from one of the unions, for monetary compensation to be given to workers,” said Dalli, adding that the proposal went “against the spirit” of its pledge.

She said that government was viewing the proposed change as a one of a number of family-friendly measures intended to give workers more time with their families, insisting that with the economy doing well and creating “many jobs”, this was the time for public holidays to be given back.

 “When there was the agreement that they would be taken away it was not intended to be indefinite and remained an open chapter,” said Dalli, who insisted that the economic climate was much worse when the agreement was reached.  “We now feel it is a good time to close it.”

The minister described talks with all social partners as having been “very good”, insisting that the government’s approach had not been “whether they would be given back but rather how they would be given back”.

She said that among the options being considered were the introduction of bank holidays, as well having public holidays falling on the weekend added to workers’ annual leave.

The minister pointed out that government understood that employers had their own responsibilities and it was therefore willing to listen to what they had to say.

In addition to returning public holidays falling on the weekend, Dalli said the government was also planning a number of other changes to employment laws, which also needed to be made more family friendly, she said. 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...