As commerce students, for the Rise - a campaign by SDM, we have decided to tackle employee rights at the place of work. We opted for a survey to determine how aware university students are when it comes to employment rights. The survey was distributed to participants on the University quadrangle as well as shared online for university students to be filled – a total of 100 responses were gathered during that day across all platforms.
The least known employment right was that maximum probation period is of 1 year.
The first question tackled employee rights, where some rights regarding employment were listed and participants were asked to tick which of these they were aware of. 98% of the participants knew that the normal working week is based on 40 hours. The rights which students were more aware of related to the Cost of Living Adjustment, overtime rates, pregnancy leave, and sick leave. Only around half of the students were aware of rights relating to rest time, birth leave, and annual leave. Finally, the least known employment right was that maximum probation period is of 1 year.
Maltese people are aware of their rights however, there is definitely room for improvement.
In the second question students were asked how much they think that Maltese people are aware of their employment rights on a scale from 1-5, 5 being very aware. The majority of the people rated a score of 3, with 20% rated 4, 16% rated 2, 5% rating 1 and only 1% rated a 5. This shows that according to university students, Maltese people are aware of their rights however, there is definitely room for improvement.In fact, in the next question, students were asked what the most effective way of increasing awareness of these rights would be. 52% chose social media, 32% chose education, 15% chose a campaign. Interestingly, a student mentioned that these rights should be clearly explained at the place of work itself.
Only 22% got a correct estimate of the minimum wage, with no one person getting the exact minimum wage figure.
The last question tackled the minimum wage, where students were asked whether they knew what the minimum wage rate for 2018 was. Only 54% of the respondents marked that they knew what the minimum wage was. For those who ticked yes, they were asked to provide an estimate. Out of all the respondents, only 22% got a correct estimate of the minimum wage, with no one person getting the exact minimum wage figure.From this survey we can conclude that Maltese university students are definitely aware of their employment rights, however there is room for improvement on certain rights. Having resources and information on these rights, which are easily accessible and available online, would help out as when in doubt one can make a reference to them. However, education is key in ensuring that future employees i.e. the students, are aware of their rights, regardless of their place of employment.