The Malta Independent 17 August 2019, Saturday

UHM proposes increase in statutory bonus for workers to be paid for by government

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 12 September 2016, 10:50 Last update: about 4 years ago

A new budget proposal submitted by the UHM – Voice of the Workers is for an increase in the annual statutory bonus received by workers, to be based on basic wage and paid by government through a cheque from the Treasury.

The scheme, if adopted, would affect over 75,000 workers, UHM Chief Executive Officer Josef Vella told The Malta Independent.

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The scheme will see those earning €8,736 - €9.999 receive a €200 bonus. Those earning €10,000 - €15,000 would receive €180 and those receiving between €15,001 - €20,000 would receive €150. The total scheme is calculated to cost around €12,784,610 and would affect 75,134 workers.

“Currently everyone receives statutory bonus in June and December, of €135 each time, and a weekly allowance paid in March and September of €121 at the end of each period. This proposal is over and above that,” he said.

 “This is an alternative to the scheme recommended by the General Workers Union which would see all public holidays given back to workers,” he said.

The GWU had said that government should give workers back all public holidays which fell on a weekend. “This was a measure introduced in 2005, when economic growth was slow, but it should be reverted back seeing that the economy is now doing well,” the GWU had said.

Mr Vella explained that new entrees into the labour market do not know about public holidays which fell on weekends. “This offers government an alternative to that introduction. Obviously we would be happy if government accepts both our proposals, however it must at least accept one”.

“Through these government paid bonuses, employers will not be affected, but it will also help alleviate the problems felt by those who are at risk of poverty. It would also not affect productivity”

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