The government needs to stop draining human resources from the private sector in the buld up to the next general election, a number of unions and associations said on Tuesday.
Too many skilled workers are being employed in the public sector including state appointed bodies, they said in a joint statement.
The press release was signed by the Malta Employers’ Association, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, the Malta Chamber of SMEs, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association and the Gozo Business Chamber.
“More and more members of these organisations are voicing their concern about employees who resign haphazardly to take up what is perceived to be a more secure job with less work pressure in government entities,” the statement reads.
A similar call was made by the Malta Employers' Association in the lead up to the last Budget.
Public sector employment increased by almost 500 jobs during the three-month electoral campaign in 2017. The government has yet to announce a date for the next general election, which must take place by next year.
Some companies, the social partners warned, are having to reduce their operations as a result of a shortage of manpower.
Many have to resort to replacing Maltese employees lost to the public sector with other nationalities, they added.
This is changing the distribution of the labour force, as government is employing a greater percentage of the Maltese labour force, with companies compensating for labour shortfalls by engaging more foreign labour.
The organisations said they are convinced that, in many cases, there is no real need for these new jobs in the public sector.
“It must be borne in mind that public sector employment is financed by the output and taxes generated by entrepreneurs and their employees, and depleting the private sector of human resources will spell trouble even for tax revenue generation,” the statement reads.
The employer organisations warned that an ageing workforce across the European Union will present a challenge in Malta in the coming years, as countries will compete for the younger cohort.
This is all the more reason for government to not make the situation worse, “simply for political expediency”.
“Human resources in Malta are scarce and limited, and therefore cannot be squandered in this manner.
“To make matters worse, many companies are also complaining about the difficulties they still encounter in employing third country nationals, including cases of repatriation of workers who have been working here regularly for years,” the statement concludes.