Sam Borg, Director at Bortex Clothing Industry Co. Ltd and Member of the Malta Chamber’s Family Business Committee, warned that Malta’s productivity was stagnating, due, in part, to social measures that affect competitiveness.
“It is no secret that a happy employee is a loyal and productive employee. However, we must strike a balance between employee satisfaction and business performance," he declared at the Parliament of Enterprises event organised by the Malta Chamber.
“When considering holidays and paid vacation leave for example, Malta already has the highest number of paid leave days in the European Union, 6.5 more days than the EU average to be precise.”
Mr Borg said that further extending the leave entitlements is already putting more pressure on businesses, jeopardising their growth and potentially increasing reliance on automation.
“In turn, this could result in job loss, particularly for lower-skilled workers in retail, manufacturing, tourism and the rest of the service industry.”
He advised the Government to consider avoiding any future measures of this kind, since the private sector was already struggling to cope with labour shortages and commensurately rising salary costs.
“Otherwise, if similar measures are forced upon us by the EU, the added cost on employers should be mitigated by compensatory measures such as tax incentives, lower national insurance contributions or monetary compensations. Only then can we safeguard our jobs and competitiveness, whilst still putting a smile on our employees’ faces.”