Sick Leave Management discussed with Government

22nd February 2018

The Malta Chamber’s Human Resources Committee, chaired by Ms Catherine Calleja met with Principal Permanent Secretary Mr Mario Cutajar to discuss common issues related to absenteeism faced by employers in both the public and private sectors on 21st February.

Specific sick leave patterns in the public sector which promted a Government study triggered the interest of the HR Committee within the Malta Chamber. In September 2017, the office of the Principle Permanant Secretary Mr Mario Cutajar, had illustrated how certain sick leave patterns in the public sector may exist and merit further analysis.

With the aim to discuss this matter, and hold an open discussion on a potential collaboration to curb abuse, the HR committee led by Chairperson Ms Catherine Calleja, met with Mr Mario Cutajar on Wednesday.

The fruitful meeting with Mr Cutajar discussed numerous factors that lead to the suspected abuse of sick leave entitlements as well as trends in sick leave that are, in fact, common to all types of workplaces, regardless of whether public or private.

The meeting also discussed practices and initiatives that have been successful in reducing sick leave. These include the enhancement of job satisfaction, as well as health promotion and sickness prevention initiatives through education. It was once again clear that a number of common practices were already being implemented.

Despite these advances, it was agreed that room for further improvements remains, as further reductions in sick leave occurrences result in beneficial effects for all stakeholders as well as the economy, particularly at a time when labour supply is in such shortage.

The HR Committee and the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary agreed to collaborate and further discuss numerous technical issues that play a significant role in sick leave. These include the role of company doctors and family doctors and their interactions, data protection issues relevant to health and other related matters.

A half-day seminar discussing Sick Leave Management in Today’s Working Environment is being organised by the Malta Chamber’s HR Committee and will be held on 15th March 2018. The Principal Permanent Secretary’s Office, among other notable stakeholders, gladly accepted to participate. More information on the seminar will be circulated to members in the coming days.

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