MCWO pleased with measures incentivising women to take up employment

The Malta Confederation of Women's Organisations welcomes inclusion of its proposals in 2015 Budget

The Malta Confederation of Women's Organisations (MCWO) welcomed the fact that a number of proposals that it had been putting forward during these last few years have again been taken on board in the 2015 Budget, namely those that incentivise women and encourage them to take up paid employment.

“We are pleased that the Free Childcare scheme was such a success that it will be extended since we know that this was one obstacle towards a mother's decision whether to work or not. This is also an investment in early childhood education. Together with the breakfast club and after-school activities more mothers will find it much easier to retain their employment,” MCWO said.

MCWO chairperson Lorraine Spiteri said the confederation also welcomed the measure regarding the maternity leave fund which will be set up so that the expense will be shared by all employers and not just by a few whose female employees are on maternity leave.

She said this was reducing women's employability and causing employers to unlawfully discriminate against female workers.

“This will also impact positively on the labour market since it will have a larger pool of talented workers with also benefits for the employer.”

Maternity benefits will increase from €160 per week to the minimum wage.

MCWO also applauded other measures announced in the budget, such as the 14-week maternity leave for self-employed women and also adoptive parents, the €400 grant per child for low income earners, and the incentives for employers to create jobs for people with disabilities.

“The Confederation believes that it is important today for women to be economically independent and that single mothers on social benefits need help to have training and find a job while using the free childcare scheme for their children,” she said. 

Moreover, Spiteri expressed hope that care will be taken in special cases where some single mothers may still have very poor chances of finding a good job due to their low standard of education or mental health issues and therefore might need extra support to be weaned off social benefits. 

In the meantime the Confederation urged the government to enact the legislation to regulate childcare centres which till now are still unregulated.

More in Budget 2015