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Recommendations for minimum wage review to be presented by end of year

The Low Wage Commission has been officially established to make recommendations to the government by the end of the year for a review of the minimum wage in our country.

The commission is regulated by law and is headed by the chairman of MCESD, architect David Xuereb, and the vice-chairman, the Permanent Secretary Mark Musu. The panel includes four union representatives and four employer representatives. In addition, there are government representatives and other experts who have much to offer for the technical recommendations this commission will make. The secretary of the General Workers’ Union, Josef Bugeja, will represent the union.

In a press conference, the Parliamentary Secretary of State for Social Dialogue, Andy Ellul, said that, as we know, the minimum wage is increased every year by the increase in the cost of living. However, the truth is that these increases do not take into account all trends in economic life and the labour market.

For this reason, a historic agreement was signed in 2017 between the government and the social partners, in which for the first time in decades, the minimum wage was raised in a way that goes beyond COLA. As part of this agreement, the formation of a low-wage commission was agreed upon.

Parliamentary Secretary Ellul said that “as a government, we felt that we needed to give this commission all the tools it needed to work. That’s why, in the law that will be published, we have given this commission the possibility of hiring experts to help it make its recommendations.”

He also made it clear that the government will make the necessary decisions. “We want to make sure that we do not overburden our companies, but that every worker has sufficient income to live a decent life. In other words, no worker who works full time in our country should be able to not have enough income to do the things they need,” Dr. Ellul said.

This is exactly why this commission was established, to ensure that workers in Malta receive fair wages that reflect the cost of living and the needs of their families, and finally, it recognises the value of the contribution that workers make to society while examining the reality of industries and businesses.

“Today’s announcement is not only an important step towards creating a just society, but also a historic step in the history of social dialogue,” reiterated Parliamentary Secretary Ellul.