The Malta Independent 17 October 2019, Thursday

Agreement aims to end unemployment among for persons with disability

Giulia Magri Monday, 16 September 2019, 13:10 Last update: about 1 month ago

A five year agreement between Agenzija Sapport and Malta Employer's Association (MEA) was signed on Monday morning aimed at increasing the amount of persons with disability in employment. 

The agreement will give Agenzija Sapport a presence on the MEA Index platform to increase awareness of opportunities in the labour market. The concept of the agreement is to help both those people with disabilities searching for employment and training for the employers.

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"Over the past few years there has been an increase of people with disabilities in the labour market," explained Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis. He said that 728 disabled persons have been employed between December 2016 and December 2018.

"Currently there are 215 disabled persons who are searching for full-time employment and 136 searching for part-time employment.  The main aim of this project is to eliminate all forms of unemployment for disabled people."

Agius Decelis explained that the agreement will go hand in hand with Progett INK, a project worth €3 million that will run for three years and provides training to 300 companies and 300 disabled persons.

The agreement will provide services and training for those employers to have a better understanding on people will disabilities. Providing such guidance on how to hire people with disabilities will provide more opportunities for both the employee and employer. Chief Executive of MEA Joseph Cini explained further that providing such information for the employer will help achieve the goals of every enterprise.

 According to the company law, in companies that employ over 20 people, 2% of those employed must be a person with disabilities. Since 2015 an employer who employs a person with disability is exempt from paying the employer's share of social security contributions for the employee. The employer is also eligible to claim a fiscal incentive equivalent to 25 per cent of the disabled person's wage up to a maximum of €4,500 for each person with disability.

If the employers fail to adhere to the legislation, they are requested to make an annual contribution for every person with disability they should be employing. The contribution is capped at €10,000 per employer. Back in November 2018 it was reported that employers paid fines of nearly €2.5 million in three years for failing to meet the aforementioned quota.


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