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The UK to trial the four-day working week – but what about Malta?

The UK to trial the four-day working week - but what about Malta?
Jan 18 2022 Share

The UK has just launched a trial which will allow employees to work just four days each week. The idea is that company employees will work for just 80% of their normal week at 100% of their pay to see what impact it has on productivity and employee welfare. 

Being called the 100: 80: 100 model, employees get the full pay for 80% of the work, but must agree to work at 100 percent productivity. The six-month pilot programme is being carried out by 4 Day Week Global alongside think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign as well as researchers from Cambridge and Oxford Universities and Boston College. 

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Businesses and companies participating will be receiving support from those organising it – including access to experts in the field, mentoring and research by top academics. The plan is to get 30 businesses on board, with the numbers crunched to see what effect the system had on productivity for the business, wellbeing of workers and impact on environment and gender equality. 

Taking a look at Malta, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana had ruled out the implementation of the 4 day work week when asked about it back in October of 2021. The Minister had stated that the government would be willing to discuss the prospect once worker productivity and skillsets improved. Malta is still not at that stage yet, the Minister had stated. He pointed to an improvement in the education system first before the work style could be introduced. 

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Moderna aims to launch single booster to fight both COVID and flu in 2 years

Moderna aims to launch single booster to fight both COVID and flu in 2 years
Jan 18 2022 Share

Pharmaceutical company Moderna aims to launch a single booster vaccine jab which will protect against both COVID-19 and the flu within two years. 

Chief executive Stephane Bancel said that the combined jab could be available before the winter infectious season in 2023. It will be effective against COVID-19, influenza and RSV, which is a common respiratory virus. 

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Speaking at a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he revealed that the goal is to be able to ‘have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter.’ 

The NHS last year moved to reassure the public that getting jabs for flu and COVID at the same time did not affect the body’s immune response. 

The best case scenario would be the fall of 2023, the Moderna official said. Countries worldwide are moving forward with their booster rollout, with Israel becoming the first country in the world to offer a fourth dose of the vaccine this month. 

Malta has as of yet administered 1,175,136 doses of the COVID vaccine, with 310,012 of these being booster shots. Health officials tout the jab as the primary weapon against COVID as the Omicron variant continues to rapidly ravage most of the world with infections. 

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Malta Eurovision contestants release their full songs ahead of competition

Malta Eurovision contestants release their full songs ahead of competition
Jan 18 2022 Share

Competing in a semi-final on the 17th of February, the contestants of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have released the full versions of the 22 songs which could represent the country during the final. 

The top 16 will qualify to a local finale two days later, with the winner heading to the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy on the 14th of May. 

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According to YouTube statistics, Aidan and Emma Muscat seem to be leading the charge as possible finale representatives. Both songs have been viewed several thousand more times than competitors. Here are the 22 songs competing… 

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Speeding reduced due to speed cameras and penalty points

Speeding reduced due to speed cameras and penalty points
Jan 18 2022 Share

177,000 traffic citations were issued for traffic violations last year, with official figures obtained by TVMnews showing that the largest number of citations were given due to illegal parking and speeding. Svetlick Flores, LESA CEO, told TVMnews that the penalty points system seems to be having the desired positive impact. 

Speeding on Maltese roads seems to be in decline as a result, with speeding contraventions on the island’s roads falling by 15% last year compared to 2019. Speed cameras captured 45,518 vehicles exceeding the speed limit in 2021. The highest speed recorded was 174km/h on the Mrieħel bypass, while most overspeeding contraventions were captured on the Notary Żarb Street in Attard with over 7,000 violations. 

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Flores revealed that the Coast Road is a prime example of reduced speeding. The road saw over 1,000 speeding vehicles per month, whereas now the amount went down to half that total. ‘This means that drivers are being more careful and that is exactly the point of speed cameras – to reduce speed thereby reducing accidents.’ 

With 85% of vehicles caught speeding going up to 15km more than the speed limit, mobile phone usage whilst driving also decreased. Drivers caught going well over 15km more than the speed limit are redacted 4 penalty points. 

‘The penalty points are working more than fines would because points can translate into loss of license’ said Flores. 177,449 traffic and driving citations were issued in 2021. 

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