Andy Ellul / DOI

On Tuesday (today), Government launched a new online portal for temping agencies to register their operations and apply for a licence, online.

The new portal was announced by the Permanent Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul during an informative meeting for temping agencies in the industry.

Dr Ellul said that while this portal will make the registration process more efficient and convenient for the agencies, it will also aid the Department for Industrial Relations and Employment (DIER) in the administration of laws, announced in November.

He shared that, so far, 42 agencies have applied for their licence and appealed to those who haven’t done so yet to apply through the portal.

Dr Ellul stated that these laws were drafted with an emphasis on dialogue, transparency and collaboration with agencies and social partners.

He added that the agencies were collaborative because “they recognised the importance of this law to also safeguard the rights of the workers and the professionality and successes of the operators.”

What are the new regulations that came into force?

The new regulations came into effect on 1st April.

According to reports, these require employment agencies to apply for a licence every year with a fee of €3,000 for the first time and €1,500 per renewal.

Identità will not be accepting any applications from agencies that does not have a licence.

The regulations stipulate that there is no obligation for each agency to have a competent person who must be Maltese or European and have a particular number of years of experience and/or an HR degree.

The new regulations require for due diligence to be carried out on the applicants, the competent person and company directors prior to the issuing of the licence. This will be done with the assistance of Police.

From now on, agencies must operate from an approved fund. Additionally, agencies that offer more than recruitment in their list of services, must have a bank guarantee of €20,000 and two per cent of the payroll. This aims to ensure compliance by any employment agency during the licence term and to secure payment for employees who end up unemployed.

Additionally, agencies that lose their licence will be blacklisted and not be eligible to bid for government tenders or recruit workers from outside the European Union.

Furthermore, temping agencies cannot request payment from employees to come to Malta and they cannot employ individuals knowing that they are paying money to guarantee and get the same job.

Harsh fines and licence revocation will ensue for those who do not comply with licence regulations or operate without one. In addition, for those who do not comply with the legal measures, can be friend from €5,000 to €30,000.

In certain severe instances, there will be immediate licence suspension while repeat offenders will have their license revoked.

And finally, individuals and companies cannot use the services of agencies who have not been authorised to carry out their operations.

Dr Ellul concluded that through these regulations, the workers that come to Malta will only come because they are needed in their respective workforce and because they have the necessary skills.

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