Minister Carmelo Abela during a public discussion by MEUSAC on the future of the EU, with the theme investing in people for a fair society
The Maltese Government is internally discussing the European Union’s directive on an adequate minimum wage within Member States, in order to shape its position. This directive aims to bring about convergence between Member States in this area and to ensure that workers in every EU country have working conditions that set a minimum wage. The EU will thus continue to build fair and resilient economies and societies in line with the European Union’s Social Agenda.
This was stated by the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela responsible among others for social dialogue and working conditions. He was addressing the latest online public discussion of a series of four organized in November by MEUSAC on the future of the EU, which addressed the European Union’s social agenda.
Minister Abela mentioned how unlike several countries in the EU, Malta is one of the European countries that has established the concept of a national minimum wage and therefore this puts the country in an advantage within the scope of the EU Directive. He said that for other countries this is a debatable concept. He noted how in recent years the Maltese Government has increased the minimum wage and created the Low Wage Commission which aims to discuss all the circumstances affecting the minimum wage and present a report to the Prime Minister with its suggestions. He said that the Government has also started discussions with the social partners and will take note of their position regarding the proposed European Directive.
In his speech he also spoke on the EU’s social agenda, saying that Malta has a strong social framework. A framework that is assisting the Government to effectively help various sectors of society, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of poverty.
Minister Abela also mentioned that the Government is taking into account all the effects of the pandemic, on workers, which includes a study by the MCESD which considered the effects on the mental health of workers.
According to Minister Abela, “the pandemic that struck the world, did not find us unprepared. Unemployment in our country is not rising, as it has continued to decline in the last five months. We are doing our best to keep workers in the workplace. If one does not aspire to have an adequate job, one cannot reach the aspirations of oneself and of families”.
The discussion focused on how the European Union, whilst working for resilient economies, does not allow anyone to fall behind, so that in the context of the European Pillar for Social Rights, European society is truly a fair and equitable society that puts man at the center and the basis of all that is done.
The Maltese Members of the European Parliament Josianne Cutajar (S&D), Alfred Sant (S&D) and David Casa (EPP); Anthony Gatt, Director of Caritas Malta; Marthese Mugliette, Chairperson of the Malta Federation of Organisations of People with Disabilities; Ruth Sciberras, Chief Executive of Aġenzija Sapport; Noel Xerri from the Anti-Poverty Forum Malta; Gabriele Bertone from the YMCA took part in the discussion.