Air Malta staff taking early retirement sum cannot work in public service for six years

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana says this condition is fair and balanced: 'You can't have your cake and eat it'

Air Malta workers who will be leaving the company under an early retirement scheme will not be able to work in the public service for six years after their agreement is finalised.

According to newspaper Illum, all workers at the national airline who will be applying for the scheme will not be able to apply for any type of employment within the government.

This information was confirmed by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, who said the condition was fair and balanced while respecting taxpayers’ money. “You can’t have your cake and eat it,” he said.

Air Malta is passing through a painful restructuring process as government seeks the European Commission’s green light to shore up the airline.

In January, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana had announced a voluntary employee transfer scheme in a bid to cut Air Malta’s workforce by half and save €15 million per year in wages.

However, this process has stalled and government pushed back the deadline for Air Malta’s employee transfer scheme to the end of the year, while also introducing a generous voluntary redundancy and early retirement scheme.

The early retirement scheme is being offered to around 300 ground handling and administrative workers as an alternative to a job with the government.

Workers who accept the early retirement scheme will enjoy sums varying between €40,000 and a reported €300,000. The exact sum each worker will receive depends on how long they had been working with the company.

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