A five-year contract was signed between Agenzija Sapport and the Maltese Employers’ Association (MEA) on Monday morning, which aims to increase the number of people with disabilities in employment.
Through the agreement, Agenzija Sapport will be present on the MEA index platform in order to raise awareness of opportunities in the job market. The concept of the agreement is to help people with disabilities both find work and train employers.
“In recent years the number of people with disabilities in the labor market has increased,” said Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis. He said that between December 2016 and December 2018, 728 disabled people were employed.
“There are currently 215 disabled people looking for full-time employment and 136 seeking part-time employment. The main goal of this project is to eliminate all forms of unemployment for disabled people.”
Agius Decelis said the agreement would go hand in hand with Progett INK, a EUR 3 million project that will run for three years and train 300 companies and 300 disabled people.
The agreement provides services and training for these employers to gain a better understanding of people with disabilities. Providing such guidance on recruiting people with disabilities gives both workers and employers more options. MEA Chief Executive Officer Joseph Cini further stated that making such information available to the employer will help achieve any company’s goals.
According to company law, in companies with more than 20 employees, 2% of the employees must be a person with disabilities. Since 2015, an employer who employs a person with a disability has been exempt from paying the employer’s share of the social security contributions for the employee. The employer is also entitled to a tax incentive equal to 25 percent of the wages of a disabled person, up to a maximum of € 4,500 for each disabled person.
If employers fail to comply with the law, they will be asked to make an annual contribution for each person with disabilities they should employ. The contribution is limited to € 10,000 per employer. As early as November 2018, it was reported that employers had paid fines of almost EUR 2.5 million in three years for not complying with the above quota.