The Malta Employer’s Association said on Wednesday that companies are finding it difficult to cope with a surge in worker absenteeism caused by COVID related issues.
A survey conducted among MEA members showed that 32% of 325 respondents reported an absence rate higher than 15%. 58% of respondents said they are coping with absenteeism through teleworking where possible, whereas 51% said they had to reduce operations.
With the survey covering companies operating in all sectors of the company, this comes as vids cases experienced a massive spike in the past weeks. This forced many workers into quarantine or self-isolation after they were either infected or in close-contact with positive cases. Estimates show that tens of thousands of people have been forced to quarantine.
With quarantine rules modified to allow people who received the booster to return to normal life after 10 days instead of 14, lobbyists and unions are still pushing for rules to be relaxed even more. They cite overseas examples and warned that the new rules will spark more confusion.
MEA said that disrupting business’ activity would lead to a negative impact on GDP growth and government finances given the wage supplement being extended to at least the first quarter of 2022. The association also urged authorities to constantly re-examine the measures to ensure that they are commensurate with the risk level of the pandemic.