Employment agencies are engaged in an activity of bringing together and matching people looking for employment and job opportunities. In Malta this activity is regulated by the L.N. 127 of 1995 - Employment Agencies Regulations, which came into effect on the 1st January 1996.
According to these regulations every person who carries out employment services requires a licence issued by the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations, except when the services are provided by an employer for his/her own firm. The exemption applies also to a partnership, of which the person carrying out the service is an active partner and to a holding Company vis-à-vis employment by any subsidiary in which it has a controlling interest.
Employment services (for which a licence is required) include:
• Keeping an Employment Register - of applicants for employment-job seekers
• Recruitment Consultancy Services - placing of advertisement, interviewing, selecting and job seekers
• Temping Services - temping services are not permissible for Government Departments, parastatal bodies and for Companies in which Government has a controlling interest.
• Recruitment Services (Outside Malta) - all services relating to the recruitment for employment outside Malta, including offshore of persons who remain domiciled in Malta.
• Other Services - for example the advertising for job seekers, when there is no specific vacancy in view.
The Employment Agencies Regulations also control the publication of advertisements for the filling of vacancies. While any employer may place an advertisement for the filling of any vacancy in his/her establishment, his/her identity must be clearly shown on the advertisement. Any employer who does not wish to disclose his/her identity must resort to a licensed Employment Agency. The regulations prescribe procedures to be followed when applying for a licence. They also prescribe procedures to be adhered to for ensuring professionalism, protecting the confidentiality of information and for protecting the interests of applicants for employment and other users.
The conditions of licence are laid down in the Employment Agencies regulations. Such conditions include the following main provisions:
• The licence is issued for one year. An application for renewal has to be made before expiry. A fee of Euro349.41 is payable when asking for renewal.
• Changes have to be notified to the Director in writing one month in advance.
• No fees are to be charged to applications for employment and no arrangement may be made for deducting any fees from earnings due to them.
• The competent person or an approved substitute shall be responsible for the management of the agency/business and should be available at all times.
• The service should be provided in a professional manner, the premises should include suitable facilities and be well kept.
• Personal information furnished by applicants for employment and business information furnished by users is to be protected and properly guarded
• No service is to be provided to Government Department, parastatal bodies and Companies in which the Government has a controlling interest. Section 110 of the Constitution requires such bodies to make use of the Employment Service of Jobsplus
• Where recruitment outside Malta is involved, the licensee is expected to verify the reliability of the employer and to forward conditions of employment accompanied with specimen contract of service to the director of Industrial and Employment Relations for approval.
• The provisions of the Act, the regulations and the conditions of the licence shall be complied with.