The MUT refers to the proposed measure by the Malta Employers Association whereby “the first day of sick leave should be unpaid and treated as a waiting day” because they fear sporadic sick leave especially linked to weekends. It is unacceptable that such regressive measures are even proposed and discussed in this day and age, especially when the country is passing through a positive economic period and following electoral campaigns in which everything was promised to everyone. The MUT instead now expects promises made by the Government, such as the promise related to Public Holidays falling on weekend, to be implemented at once.
Instead of such backward proposals, the MUT favours measures that invest in employees, promoting and safeguarding physical and mental health, safety, and increasing the quality of life to tackle issues such as work-life imbalance and burnout. As an example, the Union has been working with the Directorate for Educational Services within the Ministry for Education and Employment and with the Superintendent for Public Health in order for a number of identified educators to obtain the inoculation for Hepatitis and other chronic diseases without incurring any fees. This should be the way forward to decrease sick leave. Treating employees with suspicion and increasing monetary burdens of the unlucky ones who fall ill, on the other hand, is certainly not the way forward.