Malta Combats Precarious Employment: New measures Enacted

Dr Jonathan Pisani | Published on 18 May 2012

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Parliament has passed legal notice 44 of 2012, the Employment Status National Standard Order, (and later amended by legal notice 110 of 2012) in response to claims making the rounds in local media of rabid incidences of ‘precarious employment’ in Malta.  The term itself is loosely coined and does not admit of a precise definition.  Broadly, ‘precarious employment’ is used locally to refer to persons who carry out work for another on a self-employment basis, when in fact they would like to work on a employment basis. 

It is claimed that this form of engagement is offensive in that the person engaging the worker enjoys the continued work by the worker engaged, without the corresponding duties in their regard arising from employment law.  In response, the legal notice imposes a retroactive presumption of indefinite and full-time employment between a worker and the beneficiary of the work when the engagement satisfies five out of eight conditions which are characteristic of employment.

The response to this initiative was warm in some political camps, but caused little of a stir in others.  Workers who had been denied access to employment should find solace in news of this legal notice.  Those workers wishing to retain their self-employed status should apply to the Director Responsible for Employment and Industrial Relations and plead before him an exemption from the automatic imposition of employment.

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