Eurostat labour cost figures are misleading, Chamber says

The Malta Chamber of Commerce said that the labour cost figures published last week did not include all factors contributing to non-wage expenses

Figures on labour cost must include all factors contributing to non-wage expenses such as mandatory statutory bonuses, maternity leave, and national insurance, the Malta Chamber of Commerce said.

For this reason, the Chamber said that the figures are misleading.

The contributions paid by employers on the average private sector salary result in a 12.5% non-wage cost.

The Eurostat figures revealed that Malta’s hourly labour cost in the private sector was less than half the eurozone average.

But the Chamber said that the real non-wage labour cost for employers in Malta is far higher than the figures.

“Malta’s employers have to manage with the least productive hours in Europe, as Malta has the highest number of paid vacation days among all European Union countries,” it explained.

Malta has 39 paid vacation days when counting both vacation leave and public holidays, while the average across the European Union is 32.5 days.

“While holding in the highest regard values of social responsibility, the Chamber notes that Maltese employers, unlike their European main-land colleagues, have to content with added costs of operating from an island,” it said, citing the costs of shipping in raw-materials and shipping-out finished products, as well as having the third highest energy rates in Europe.

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