[WATCH] Abela unveils sweeping reforms to curb worker exploitation in temping agencies

Prime Minister Robert Abela reveals efforts to draft legislation aimed at regulating temping agencies that exploit workers for personal gain

Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: PL)
Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: PL)

The government is actively pursuing legislation to regulate temping agencies operating within the country, Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed on Sunday.

"Serious agencies will be incentivised, and they will receive government support. However, those who exploit workers for their own gain will not be tolerated," Abela stated.

In an interview with Deputy Head of News at ONE, Samuel Lucas,  Abela emphasised that this regulatory framework, combined with stringent enforcement measures, aims to eradicate worker exploitation. 

“Government will primarily achieve this by distinguishing responsible temping agencies from unscrupulous ones... The reality is that anyone could wake up one day and decide to open a temping agency, and at one point, this was actually happening," acknowledged Abela.

A temping agency is a company that helps organisations find temporary workers. These agencies have recently faced criticism for contributing to the influx of foreign workers in the country, straining the already overpopulated island and its infrastructure.

Abela clarified that the government's intention is not to shut down all of these companies, as several sectors within the country depend on them to meet the demand for workers.

"However, we are taking action to differentiate between agencies that are necessary and those that operate without regulation," added Abela.

Abela gave no other details on the matter.

Speaking about the setting up of economic zones, Abela said this will turn Malta in a renewable energy hub,

“We have a vision for our country to be a leader in this field," Abela said.

On Thursday, six potential areas outside Malta’s 12-mile territorial waters were identified for floating renewable energy projects in a national policy released for public consultation today.

The policy document sets out the government’s vision to encourage private investment in large renewable energy projects in Malta’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

“The main objective of this investment is to produce clean energy and establish sustainable prices for everyone,” the Prime Minister added.