Access to Employment (A2E) Scheme Extension until 31st December 2022

Overview

Jobs Plus, the national employment agency, has extended the Access to Employment Scheme (A2E) until end of year.

The Access to Employment (A2E) Scheme provides employment aid to enterprises in Malta and Gozo to promote the recruitment of the more challenged amongst jobseekers and inactive persons.

Through this scheme, the integration into the labour market is facilitated by:

  • Enhancing opportunities to access the labour market and providing work experience to those furthest away from gainful employment;
  • Bridging the gap between labour market supply and demand;
  • Increasing social cohesion. 

The A2E Scheme is co-financed by the European Social Fund, the Maltese Government and employers.

Eligibility of the Employer

The applicant must meet all the eligibility criteria to benefit from this scheme. Eligible applicants cover all Employers having an economic activity irrespective of their legal form.

These include partnerships, companies, family businesses, associations, individual self-employer or other body of persons, NGOs and Social Partners, when recruiting new employees (or keeping in employment newly registered disabled person

Eligibility of the Participant

The following table illustrates the eligible target groups, level and duration of assistance.

TARGET
GROUP
CLIENT GROUPDURATION OF
ASSISTANCE
DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
1Any person of age 24 and over who has been unemployed/inactive for the previous 6 months.52 weeks
2Any unemployed person of age between 15 to 24 who previously participated and completed the Youth Guarantee / Work Exposure / Traineeship Scheme and is recruited for the first-time following completion of such initiatives.52 weeks
3Any person who is living as a single adult who has one or more dependants and is not in full-time employment.52 weeks
4Any person of age 24 and over who has not attained an upper secondary educational or vocational qualification (ISCED 3), who does not have a job.52 weeks
5Any person older than 50 years who does not have a job.52 weeks
SEVERELY DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
6Any person who has been unemployed / inactive for the previous 12 months during which he/she has not benefited from a traineeship with the Undertaking and who belongs to one of the categories (3) to (5).104 weeks
7Any person of age 24 and over who has been unemployed / inactive for the previous 24 months during which he/she has not benefited from a traineeship with the Undertaking.104 weeks
DISADVANTAGED PERSONS
8Any person who is a registered disabled person under national law.156 weeks

Application Process

Complete dated applications, together with all supporting documentation (if any) must be submitted in full. Applications are to be submitted electronically. Complete applications must be submitted by the end of December 2022 and recruitment must take place by end December 2022. In case the budget is fully committed Jobs Plus reserves the right to close the scheme before December 2022 without any public notification.

Benefits

Employers applying for the A2E Scheme whose application is found eligible will receive a subsidy of €105.45 (full-time) / €52.70 (part-time) per week per new recruit engaged, for a period of 52 weeks or 104 weeks, depending on the target group. In the case of registered disabled persons, a subsidy of €158.20 (full-time) / €79.10 (part-time) per week for a maximum of 156 weeks is provided. Rates will be revised on an annual basis to include the cost-of-living increase.

Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers

Legal Notice 201 of 2022, ‘Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers Regulations’, was published on 13 July 2022 and came into force on the 02 August 2022.

These regulations lay down the new Work-Life Balance Directive and the new minimum requirements for paternity leave, parental leave and Carers’ leave and flexible working arrangements for workers who are parents or carers. By means of these regulations, parents will now maintain a better work-life balance while also ensuring that both parents are equally involved in the care of their child and have equal treatment in the workplace.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave of ten (10) working days will be granted to fathers or equivalent second parents on the occasion of the birth or the adoption of a child. Such paternity leave will be paid in full by the employer, irrespective of the period of employment and applies regardless of the employee’s family or marital status. Paternity leave must be taken immediately after the birth or adoption of their child.

Parental Leave

Both male and female workers are now entitled to four (4) months each of parental leave entitlement for the birth, legal custody, adoption or fostering of a child until the child has turned eight (8) years of age. The first two (2) months out of the four months will be paid at the rate of the sickness benefit deduction which constitutes to €21.85 per working day of parental leave in 2022. The remaining two months out of the four months will be considered as unpaid. Payments will be processed by the Social Security Department as follows:

  • 50% before the child has turned 4 years of age
  • 25% until the child is aged between 4 and 6 years of age
  • 25% until the child is aged between 6 and 8 years of age

Parents may benefit from this new entitlement if they have been in continuous employment for a period of at least twelve (12) months. The employee can request such leave by notifying his employer in writing at least two (2) weeks before the start date of the parental leave period being requested. This leave can be taken in intervals of two weeks each, unless agreed otherwise. With the introduction of the Work-Life Balance Regulations, the last two (2) months of the parental leave can now be transferrable between the parents and any remaining parental leave can be transferrable between one work-place and the other in cases of change in employment or change in employer.

Carers’ Leave

Employees who are taking care of relatives or other persons in their household are now entitled to five (5) days per year of carers’ leave of which is unpaid. In order to be eligible, the worker must provide medical proof to show that the relative or other person living in the same household, suffers from an illness and is in need of care by the person to whom carers’ leave is requested.

Flexible Work Arrangements

This Legal Notice also introduces new flexible working arrangements to employees who have children up to the age of eight (8) years and who act as carers. Employees may request to work remotely, flexitime and work on reduced hours. These may be limited in duration and employers must provide feedback to the employee within two (2) weeks of the request and any reason for refusal must be provided. The employee can also request to go back to his original working conditions once the terms of the flexible work arrangements have ended, if agreed by the employer.

Any party who fails to comply or breaches such provisions of the Work-Life Balance Regulations shall be guilty of a criminal offence and will be liable to a fine (multa) of not more than two thousand Euro (€2000).

3a’s Summer Event

Following an absence of two years, the much awaited 3a summer event was once again held for the 3a team and their families. On Friday 29 July, the team got together at Ferretti for a few hours of good food and cold drinks to beat the summer heat. The younger ones were entertained by professional entertainers during the evening, while the employees and their families got to catch up after such a long time. During the evening, as customary, the Directors also presented the long service awards. This time, it was Luana Bonnici’s turn, as she recently celebrated her tenth anniversary with the company. Congratulations to Luana for her long journey of growth and development with 3a Malta within the Accountancy Unit.