MEUSAC Core Group Meeting – 23.02.18

23 February 2018

On February 23, 2018 the MEUSAC Core Group discussed the revision of the Written Statement Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on transparent and predictable employment conditions.

A presentation was given by the Director of the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations, Ms Alexandra Gatt.

She said that an estimated four to six million workers in the EU have work on demand or temporary work. According to Directive 91/533/KEE (Written Sattement Directive), the employer is obliged to make the employee aware of the applicable contract conditions from the minute he/she starts working. The new proposals aim to offer some form of redress in the event workers are denied fair and transparent conditions.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Dr Aaron Farrugia said that it would be irresponsible if we were to speak about numbers in relation to the EU Budget post-2020 when the European Commission is still to announce its plans in this regard. He was referring to a news item in The Times of February 23 (the same day of the Core Group meeting) which stated that Malta risked losing hundreds of millions of euros in EU funds after 2020.

He said that the UK’s exit from the EU will leave a void of about €15 million in the EU budget but there has been no agreement so far on who or what will make up for this loss.

Dr Farrugia highlighted that Malta’s position has already been formed and that it has a good team in place that will be responsible for negotiating the best possible package for Malta.

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Dr Helena Dalli echoed Dr Farrugia’s words and said that talks tied to the EU Budget post-2020 have to take place in the context of Malta’s economy.

On the nature of the Core Group’s discussion, she said that the Government, along with social partners, worked hard to ensure that the conditions of work of employees are improved. She said that the Government started off by addressing the issue of precarious working conditions in the public sector and would now seek to tackle precarious working conditions in the private sector.

MEUSAC Head Dr Vanni Xuereb highlighted that on the day of the Core Group, the 27 EU leaders were meeting during an informal summit to discuss two important topics: institutional changes within the Commission and the European Parliament, and the political priorities of the European Commission tied to the EU post-2020 budget.

Those present were also updated by representatives of the Brexit Unit within the Secretariat for European Affairs within the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality on the state of play tied to the Brexit negotiations. Momentarily, negotiations are focusing on the transition period (March 2019 to December 2020) and about the UK’s exit agreement.

Brexit Unit officials also said that it is vital that the impact as a result of the UK’s exit should be lessened and that interested parties should be well informed on the outcome of negotiations. In this regard, Brexit Unit representatives urged those interested in seeking more information on the impact of Brexit to contact MEUSAC for assistance.

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