Last Updated on Thursday, 23 November, 2023 at 1:10 pm by Andre Camilleri
The government will be regulating temping agencies starting from next year, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul said Wednesday.
Addressing the media, Ellul said that the aim of the new regulations for temporary work agencies is to provide a legal robust framework that assures “that this practice is done in accordance with laws regulating employment, including employees work conditions and the ethical recruitment”.
It was explained that this law will come into force on the 1 of April of next year and that the applications from future regulated temporary workers agencies will start being received as from 1 January.
All companies need to have their licence by June of 2024.
Lawyers explained that this new law promotes visibility and monitoring on all operators within the sector. Additionally, it aims to assure that only non-European workers that the country needs are brought over, whilst safeguarding their wellbeing by criminalising abuses.
As a direct consequence, companies that do not have or violate this licence will be disqualified from public procurement contracts and will not be authorised to bring in workers from outside the European Union.
Moreover, agencies that violate immigration laws or labour laws and are not compliant will have their licences revoked.
What do these new regulations say?
Employment agencies need to apply for a licence every year (€3,000 for the first time and €1,500 with each renewal).
There is an obligation for each agency to have a competent person who must be Maltese or European and have a number of years of experience and/or an HR degree.
Due diligence will be carried out, with the assistance of the Police, on applicants, the competent person, and company directors before the licence is issued.
The agency must operate from an approved fund according to the law;
The agency must have a bank guarantee (not applicable to agencies offering only recruitment) of €20,000 + 2% of the payroll. This is intended to ensure compliance by any employment agency during the licence term and to secure payment for employees who end up without a job.
Agencies that lose their licence will be blacklisted and will not be eligible to bid for government tenders or recruit workers from outside the EU.
Temping agents cannot request any payment from employees to come to Malta. They cannot employ individuals when they are aware that these individuals are paying money to guarantee and get the same job.
Agency Identita will not accept any applications for a single permit from an agency that does not have a licence, the regulations say.
There will be ‘harsh’ fines and licence revocation for those who do not comply with licence regulations or operate without one. Immediate license suspension will occur in certain severe instances.
Repeat offenders will have their licences revoked. Fines range from €5,000 to €30,000 for those who fail to comply with legal measures.
It will not be possible for individuals or companies to use the services of agencies that are not authorized to do this work.