Flexible work arrangements in the private sector
The Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and MISCO have launched a study to delve into the current scenario, hurdles and implications of adopting and maintaining family-friendly measures in the private sector.
Although flexible work arrangements have been proven to increase workers’ productivity and job satisfaction in various countries over the world, this proactive vision is still lacking in Malta particularly within the private sector.
Conscious of this, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB), through its pan-European project SHIFT (Supporting Human Resources in Family Friendly Training), organised a master class to inform the business community on the benefits of implementing flexible work arrangements within the private sector.
MBB’s Chief Executive Officer Joe Tanti said the study will help businesses gain a better understanding of the take-up of flexible work and family friendly measures among Maltese businesses, what lacunae exist in the private sector, and what can be done to decrease this discrepancy. He further stated that “the MBB, with MISCO’s support, will determine an accurate representation of what measures are implemented by local enterprises”.
MISCO Malta’s Head of Marketing and Research Unit Vanessa Sciberras appealed to businesses to participate in this study by offering their feedback. “It is only through this that we can identify the realities of the Maltese enterprise as well as any obstacles that they may encounter in the implementation of flexible work arrangements,” she said.
The master class, which formed part of the FHRD Annual National Conference, also welcomed the participation of Cæsar Szwebs, an expert from AMU Nordjylland (a vocational education and training centre in Denmark), who drew on Denmark’s successful adoption of flexible work arrangements and presented the best practices of Danish companies. During his presentation, he highlighted how the adoption of such measures by the local private sector could help boost their human capital, contribute to a better work environment and bring about an increased level of productivity. The economic and social disparities between Denmark and Malta were also discussed. Human resources (HR) professionals attending the master class greatly benefitted from the event as they were given the chance to gather first-hand knowledge on such implementation measures and were provided with specific examples as how to apply such practices within their specific sector.
MBB SHIFT Project Manager Mariella Scicluna explained how the first part of the project, which is co-funded through the EU Leonardo Mobility Programme, gave a number of local HR professionals the chance to visit companies in Denmark and Germany and learn from their best practices. Ms Scicluna noted that “the idea is to support human resources managers to acquire best practices of flexible work and family friendly arrangements, in an effort to create a better work environment within the Maltese private sector”. The project also serves to address the lack of awareness of such innovative methods, which are seen as potential elements to help address the needs of the local private sector.