General Workers’ Union welcomes public consultation on contractors licensing

Union says laws ‘desperately needed’ to improve quality and ensure greater enforcement   

The General Workers' Union has welcomed the public consultation on the new licensing regime for building contractors.

"These laws are desperately needed in the construction sector because there should be greater enforcement and responsibility, as well as an improvement in quality," Josef Bugeja, General Secretary of the GWU, said on Tuesday. 

On Monday, Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi revealed measures for a new licencing regime for building contractors, which is set to take effect next June.

Public consultation on these proposals opened on Monday and will run until 21 April. The final cut-off date for all contractors to be licensed is January 2025.

The union agreed with government in forcing an applicant who is also an employer, to provide liability insurance coverage for workplace accident.

The GWU said it has long emphasised the need for contractors to have enough awareness of fundamental health and safety standards and laws, as well as a code of practice. 

The union also insisted on licenced contractors supplying all essential and approved equipment for its personnel, who should also be qualified according to the regulatory limit standards.