The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) welcomes the launch of the Maternity Leave Fund out of which employers will be refunded for payment of paid maternity leave. The MCWO said that this measure was long overdue and will eliminate the main disincentive for employers to employ women of child bearing age due to the cost of maternity leave. In Malta, the Confederation said, employers pay for fourteen weeks of maternity leave payable at 100 per cent of the employee’s salary. By means of the Fund all employers in the private sector will now contribute to the Fund and get reimbursed for payment of maternity leave enjoyed by their employees.
The MCWO said that in almost all Member States the maternity benefits are either partially or fully paid by some kind of social security fund where employers contribute in a number of different ways. Most often they pay out the entitlement and are reimbursed by the state fund (up to a certain ceiling) or they pay the difference on top of a lower statutory benefit. This is the case in Denmark, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands and the UK. In Germany and Poland, some employers have assumed administrative functions regarding maternity benefits, but are then fully reimbursed.
Lorraine Spiteri, Chairperson MCWO concluded that this initiative, supported by employers, is a milestone for Malta and contributes to further enhance women’s employability and gender equality at the workplace and in society.
The Confederation is an umbrella organisation that represents 13 local member organisations. The MCWO is a full member of the Brussels based European Women’s Lobby.