A pandemic-related measure enabling employers to make temporary changes to workers' conditions has saved 27,000 jobs, the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) said on Tuesday. 

In a statement, the government said there were 567 cases on "adequate working conditions" investigated during the first four months of the year.

"51 cases resulted in financial requests, which amounted to €115,648. 45 inspections took place in workplaces where 99 employees were interviewed. The department also asked the police to open 52 legal proceedings in the criminal court against those who did not pay all amounts due to their employees.

"A greater number of cases were resolved amicably without involving the court," the government said in a statement. 

The details emerged during a visit by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela at the department’s recently-renovated offices.

The department’s headcount has increased by six new employees, whilst in the first months of the year the department received 10,593 calls on its 1575 helpline.

“This government is committed to doing whatever it takes to protect and strengthen our workers’ working conditions because they and their employers are the basis of our economy and its successes,” Abela said.

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