EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Malta: Good pay prospects and fall in collective bargaining coverage

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While wages in Malta are rising, a significant decline in collective bargaining coverage has also been recorded.

The Central Bank of Malta (CBM) carried out a survey in 2014 as part of the Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) project. A similar survey was conducted in 2010. The findings of this survey can therefore provide an evaluation of developments in the labour market. A total of 271 companies were chosen to take part in the survey. Of these, 60% had participated in the previous survey. The fieldwork lasted from May till July 2014.

The findings of this survey were reported in the CBM Annual Report 2014 published in April 2015. The large majority of companies reported a rise in basic wages when compared to the last time the survey was conducted in 2010. Slightly less than 40% of firms also awarded increases in flexible wage components such as bonuses and fringe benefits. This form of compensation was mainly concentrated in the services sector, especially in tourism and financial services.

The data from the WDN survey suggested that around 23% of employees in the private sector were covered by a collective agreement in 2013. This represents a significant decline from the previous WDN survey, which had reported a coverage of 28.6% in 2008. At a sectoral level, the employees covered by a collective agreement are mainly concentrated in the manufacturing and financial services sectors.

According to the Labour Force Survey published by the Malta National Office of Statistics (NSO) on 25 June 2015, the average annual basic salary of employees for the first quarter of 2015 was estimated at €16,329. This amount refers to annual basic salary and excludes payments such as overtime, bonuses and allowances. The highest average annual basic salary for employees was recorded in the information and communication activities sector. Average annual salaries by occupation varied from €27,572 among managers to €10,872 among elementary staff (NSO News Release 120/2015 (71 KB PDF)).

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