Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna underlined that the Budget 2015 embodies the Government’s determination to facilitate access to work for women, adding that this will be done through measures that will encourage women to join the workforce while also addressing obstacles that prevent or discourage them from doing so.
Minister Scicluna was speaking during the closing address of a conference organised by the National Council of Women’s Organisations on the issue of pensions. During his address, Prof. Scicluna noted that the Budget 2015 is proposing several measures which will achieve these aims.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Prof. Scicluna noted that the maternity leave measure introduced in the 2015 budget will ensure that employers are not discouraged from employing more female workers, as the cost of financing the maternity leave would now be spread out over the whole of the private sector.
He noted that this measure will also mean that the Government is removing the obstacles that are currently encountered by women seeking work, as the cost of financing maternity leave previously represented a considerable drawback for employers.
He also noted how the maternity leave payments will also be increased so as to strengthen the support that families receive during such times. He explained that this will be increased by 6 euro and 73 euro for the self employed.
Prof. Scicluna also referred to other measures such as the tapering of social benefits for single mothers, which is intended to facilitate their transition from social welfare dependence to job opportunities in the economic sectors.
He also explained that for those now-retired women who, in the past, had to resign upon marriage and thus were unjustly treated with regards to the pensions they ultimately received, the Government would now be justly recognising their years of hard work by means of an additional benefit.
Prof. Scicluna also underlined that the Free Child Care services measure, which was introduced with considerable success in the 2014 Budget, will be extended further in the years to come.
29th November 2014