Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August, 2021 at 9:55 am by Andre Camilleri
The government is updating its employment policy in an attempt to address the blow to the hospitality sector brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are conscious of staff shortages being faced by the hospitality sector and are currently endeavouring to address this situation by updating the employment policy,” Miriam Dalli, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, told The Malta Independent.
The government has been urged by various entities to draw up concrete plans to combat the current difficulty in find employees who are willing to work in Malta’s hospitality sector.
This struggle has been said to have been brought about due to Malta’s strict travel restrictions as well as strict restrictive measures to control the effects of the pandemic on hotels and catering establishments across the island.
Thus, several entities have requested less uncertainty on travel restrictions; quicker handling of documents by JobsPlus and Identity Malta, tax exemptions on overtime and part-time income earners, as well as an increased minimum wage.
Seeing that the hospitality sector was forced to shut its doors for several months over 2020 and 2021, many establishments had to lay off staff to cut costs, despite the government wage supplement.
Due to this, many third-country nationals employed in the industry left the island and a large number of those who returned have been said to have shifted to other sectors such as construction and deliveries.
Figures obtained from the National Statistics Office show that the number of part-timers working in hospitality fell by more than half between March 2019 and March 2020, when the virus pandemic hit, from 8,763, to 4,169.