Temping Agencies to be licensed from April 2024

Authorities aim to eradicate widespread exploitation of temporary workers through upcoming legislation regulating temping agencies.

Announced by Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue Andy Ellul in a Wednesday press conference, the law, set to be published on Thursday, mandates that individuals or agencies engaging temporary workers must obtain a government-issued license.

This move addresses concerns over exploitative practices in a sector plagued by abuse suspicions. Ellul, who initially proposed regulation last year, emphasized the need to establish a controlled structure to attract quality workers.

The law, applicable to both Maltese and foreign workers, takes effect on April 1, with applications opening on January 1 and an adjustment period before sanctions commence on June 1.

Initial applicants face a €3,000 fee, with a €1,500 charge upon renewal. The law extends licensing requirements to outsourcing and temporary work agencies, subjecting them to criteria and due diligence vetting.

Violators face fines up to €30,000, and unlicensed agencies will be publicly listed and blacklisted for government contracts.

The legislation also expressly prohibits agencies from charging workers for licenses, and companies engaging unlicensed agencies will be penalized.

Additionally, agencies must provide a bank guarantee, redistributable to employees if the agency loses its license.