According to a survey conducted by the Malta Employers’ Association (MEA) among its members, the increase in absenteeism caused by covid-related absence is having a substantial impact on businesses.
32% of the 325 respondents reported having an absence rate of more than 15%, making dealing with a labour shortage a challenge in many companies. Where feasible, 58% of respondents said they are dealing with absenteeism through teleworking, while 51% said they had reduced operations. The survey included businesses from all sectors of the economy.
The fact that the increase in the number of positive Covid cases over the last three weeks has also increased the number of employees who have had direct contact with such cases, resulting in a dramatic increase in absence due to quarantine. The disruption in economic activity will have a detrimental impact on GDP and government budgets since many enterprises will have to prolong the pay supplement until at least the first quarter of 2022 as a result.
In these circumstances, the MEA is urging authorities to continually re-examine the measures in place to protect public health – such as quarantine length and other limitations – to ensure that they are proportionate to the pandemic’s risk level. It is also critical that concerns that have arisen in the workplace as a result of unclear legislation are addressed in order to avoid unjustified absenteeism and industrial unrest, both of which cost companies a lot of money.