Inspections at Valletta food court ‘Is-Suq tal-Belt’ find 31 workers without permit

31 workers, of which 14 are non-EU nationals, were found without a valid working permit after Jobsplus inspections at the Suq tal-Belt

Five days before the Prime Minister inaugurated the restored Valletta food court, Jobsplus inspections found 31 employees without a valid working permit
Five days before the Prime Minister inaugurated the restored Valletta food court, Jobsplus inspections found 31 employees without a valid working permit

Some 31 employees at Valletta’s newest food outlet, the restored marketplace ‘Is-Suq’, are allegedly working without valid permits.

The news was broken by national broadcaster TVM, which reported that 31 of some 71 workers had been found without working permits. 14 of these workers hail from non-EU countries

Arkadia Group, which runs the food court, told TVM that its human resources department did not possess personal details on the employees of the contractors running the separate food outlets inside the food court. The company was reported as saying that it will be following the case to ensure every employee is in conformity with the law.

In a comment to MaltaToday, Arkadia Group said all its directly employed workers had the necessary work permits. "Arkadia HR was not privy to the personal details of non-compliant workers of its tenants and sub-contractors and learnt there were possible migivings today. Arkadia will ensure full compliance even though these tenants and subcontractors, were already bound by legal contracts to guarantee such."

The Suq food court was inaugurated only last week with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing patrons and guests.

TVM said that the illegal workers were discovered by a surprise inspection by Jobsplus inspectors, who carry out the inspections to ensure employment rules are not being abused. In its reaction, Arkadia Group said the Jobsplus “routine inspection” was carried out on 27 February, and that all Arkadia employees have work permits save for three ITS students on a work placement. The company told MaltaToday that the numbers published in the media "are incorrect and inflated" but did not offer a correct number of illegal workers identified by Jobsplus inspectors.

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