Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Young people and workplace discrimination
Authors: De Lucca, Jean-Paul
Keywords: Young adults -- Employment -- Malta
Discrimination -- Law and legislation
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Malta. Institute for European Studies
Citation: De Lucca, J. P. (2005). Young people and workplace discrimination. Working for an Inclusive Society, Malta, 247-257.
Abstract: One is likely to encounter a slight variation in the definition of a ‘young person’ from one country to another. The National Youth Policy of Malta defines a young person as someone aged between 14 and 30. The policy document was drafted by a team of researchers and youth-workers together with representatives of the National Youth Council, as the officially recognised representative body of young people, following consultation with various youth organisations. The document states that in the field of employment, the State should follow a policy that, inter alia:- [8.2] safeguards young people from the threats of exploitation, such as employment below the legally-consented age, wages and benefits which do not ensure a decent standard of living, harassment, and disregard for the Health and Safety Act; [8.6] ensures that employers do not discriminate in any manner in their methods of recruitment and job advancement. Within the broad definition of ‘young people’, one can identify three distinct sub-categories which correspond to the 14-16, 16-18 and 18+ age brackets respectively. For the purposes of employment, Maltese law defines a ‘young person’ as any person who is under eighteen years of age and within this definition it distinguishes between a ‘child’, who is a person under sixteen years of age or the age established as the school leaving age by virtue of the Education Act, and an ‘adolescent’, defined as a person who is between sixteen and eighteen years of age. The Young Persons (Employment) Regulations lay down the conditions under which young people under the age of eighteen can be employed with the view of regulating such work and ensuring that employers guarantee that young people have working conditions that suit their age and that they are protected against economic exploitation and against any work which is likely to harm their safety, health or physical, mental, moral or social development or to jeopardise their education. Even though the Employment and Industrial Relations Act does not apply the term ‘young people’ to those between the age of eighteen and thirty, one should take into consideration the definition of a young person according to the National Youth Policy and the specific reference it makes to the safeguarding of all young people against discriminatory measures. Notwithstanding the difference between the use of the term in the law and the definition of a young person in the National Youth Policy, this paper seeks to highlight some issues related to workplace discrimination against young people in general. There is not much to discuss with regard to discrimination against young people under eighteen insofar as both Maltese and European law safeguard them against exploitation and overtly discriminatory practices. It is indeed far more problematic to delineate and exemplify instances of discrimination against young workers who, according to our laws, do not fall within the category of ‘young people’ but who are subjected to discriminatory acts primarily because of their age. A substantial part of this discussion, therefore, concerns discrimination on the grounds of age. Moreover, at times, some young people suffer double discrimination when they are discriminated against not only on the basis of their age but also because of their gender, disability, ethnicity or other causes. There are instances where young women and young disabled persons are defended against acts of discrimination not because they are young but because they are women or disabled. One must therefore try to articulate what is meant by age discrimination and what challenges this presents to lawmakers, policy and decision makers as well as young people themselves, the organisations that represent them and/or work with them, and civil society as a whole.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtPhi

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Young People and Workplace (ONLINE OPEN ACCESS).pdf
  Restricted Access
83.09 kBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.