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MALTATODAY 19 December 2021

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9 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 19 DECEMBER 2021 NEWS is that most of the gender pay gap in Malta and most other EU countries cannot be explained with reference to common ex- planatory factors such as differ- ences in education, tenure and working hours. The report concludes that that women's over-representation in low-paying sectors and part- time employment are among the main factors explaining the gender pay gap. Having caring and family responsibilities is the main reason that women are employed part-time rather than full-time. In this context, the availability and affordability of care services for children or ill, disabled or el- derly adults plays an important role. Rebalancing the division of paid and unpaid work between men and women is also crucial to narrow gender gaps in the labour market, allowing women to have the same profession- al opportunities as their male counterparts. The report also notes that more women have worked from home during the pandem- ic. And while extending tele- work may improve work-life balance for many workers, for working women, this may come at the expense of workplace visibility, and result in reduced opportunities to access training and promotions, and ultimate- ly slower career – and salary – progression. Moreover the increase in tele- work may actually "exacerbate the unequal distribution of care tasks within the household." The research project s was undertaken by the European Jobs Monitor and was written by Carlos Vacas-Soriano, John Hurley and Martina Bisello. MATTHEW VELLA A Court of Appeal in Brussels has upheld a three-year suspend- ed sentence for a Maltese civil servant at the European Union, over a racially-motivated assault on a civil servant of the EU. Stefan Grech, 51, had his pro- bationary sentence confirmed by an appeals court and asked to pay legal and court expenses, and nominal fees for damages to his victim. Originally, Grech was sen- tenced in 2018 and ordered to submit himself to therapy for his alcohol habit, and carry out an unspecified number of hours of community work with a race-re- lated organisation. Grech, brother of Nationalist MP Claudio Grech, was formal- ly charged, and found guilty of, incitement to hate or violence towards people of Jewish faith, violation of anti-racism laws, and assault aggravated by racial hatred. The incident took place in 2015, when Grech was involved in a drunken altercation with a restaurant patron and her friend. Grech was having drinks with friends at the L'Italiano café, when he reportedly started a rant lauding the Italian fascist dicta- tor Benito Mussolini, to which a 50-year-old Italian woman, also a head of unit at the European Commission, objected to. According to the claims of the woman and her friend, who were the only witnesses brought by the injured party in the case, Grech attacked the woman when she confronted him over his rant. In her police complaint, the wom- an said Grech started to attack her when she told him, 'I could be Jewish'… "That's when all of a sudden the man took the sign in his hand and hit me in the face near my left ear. He then tried to take my neck in hands to strangle me." The woman claimed Grech told her: "You should have all been killed". After filing her po- lice complaint, the woman was taken to hospital where she was treated for concussion. Grech had admitted drinking considerably by the time of the incident and that his banter was misinterpreted in a moment of high jinks gone wrong. Anoth- er witness, Fabrio Fracasso, told the police that Grech was very drunk. "Among our Italian friends were a communist and also a fas- cist, who showed off his tattoo of Mussolini and then went outside to his car to bring back a mock li- cence-plate that read 'Mussolini' – so I started waving it around in the face of the communist, taunting him about it by singing a fascist song. It was simply ban- ter, nothing serious," Grech told the court. 'Mussolini' fracas: Brussels court confirms verdict for MP's brother Stefan Grech: an Appeals Court has confirmed a suspended sentence handed down to him in 2018. Photo: Facebook

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