People working in Malta are entitled to a number of work benefits that promote a favourable work-life balance whilst also taking care of their physical and mental health.
Leave, which is effectively the authorised time spent away from work, plays an important role in contributing to the overall satisfaction factor of employees. Understanding how leave entitlement works in Malta is key – here’s a summary of the different leave benefits offered to employees in Malta.
The most common and most utilised form of leave is Vacation leave. Due to recent changes introduced by previous national budget measures, Vacation leave may differ according to the number of public holidays falling on a weekend. Unless organisations fall within a specific wage regulation order, generally workers in Malta are entitled to vacation leave calculated based on the following:
An employee with a 40-hour working week (full-timer) is entitled to 216 hours of paid annual leave; that is, 192 hours of basic leave entitlement + 24 hours in lieu of the three Public Holidays that fall on weekends.
An employee with a 40-hour working week (full-timer) is entitled to 224 hours of paid annual leave; that is, 192 hours of basic leave entitlement + 32 hours in lieu of the four Public Holidays that fall on weekends.
An employee with a 40-hour working week (full-timer) is entitled to 208 hours of paid annual leave; that is, 192 hours of basic leave entitlement + 16 hours in lieu of the two Public Holidays that fall on weekends.
It is to be noted that, in cases where employees work more than or less than the 40hour per week amount (excluding overtime), leave hours are then calculated pro-rata accordingly.
Similarly, when an individual has been working with a company for less than 12 months, their leave is calculated proportionately to the worked time.
Generally, full-timers in Malta are entitled to 2 weeks of sick leave, calculated in hours. The first 3 consecutive days of any sick leave period claim are to be paid by the employer. When it comes to part-time employees working less than 40 hours a week, sick leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis.
Generally, an employee on sick leave may be expected to present a medical certificate. An employer also has the right to send in a doctor to visit and examine the employee claiming sick leave.
If an individual happens to suffer a personal injury whilst taking part in an activity directly concerned with his or her own employment, the employee is subject to a maximum period of 1 full year of paid leave.
Indeed, injury leave entitlement is also offered to individuals suffering any of the diseases specified in the Social Security Act, which gives reference to diseases that arise due to a person’s nature of their work. An employee is only subject to injury leave if that injury comes about directly as a result of employment duties and not due to any negligence of personal health or of safety rules enforced by the employer.
Bereavement leave is offered to individuals dealing with the unfortunate death of a parent, legal guardian (past or present), spouse, sibling, son or daughter. Employees are entitled to paid time off to deal with the aftermath of such an occasion.
Full-time employees are entitled to 1 full day of paid leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the same leave entitlement as calculated on a pro-rata basis.
On the occasion of his or her marriage, an employee is entitled to leave. Full-time employees are entitled to 2 full days whereas part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata basis calculation of that amount.
An employee who is pregnant is entitled to maternity leave. Maternity leave may last up to 18 weeks and without interruption. It is to be noted that 6 out of the 18 weeks have to be taken directly after birth, while 4 weeks of leave may be taken before the birth of the child, should the employee choose this option.
Special maternity leave is also granted to pregnant or breastfeeding individuals as well as employees who have recently given birth especially if their type of work poses a threat to her or her child’s health.
It is to be noted that maternity leave is paid in full. Once the maternity leave period comes to an end, an employee has the right to resume work as formerly occupied on the commencement of the maternity process.
Where maternity leave is granted to the mother, birth leave is granted to the child’s other parent. The employee has the right to 1 full day of paid leave on the occasion of the birth of the child.
Parents have the individual right to seek parental leave in the cases of childbirth, adoption, foster care or the obtaining of the legal custody of a child that requires them to be away for work.
Parental leave offered to workers in Malta is unpaid. What’s more, an employee must have been involved in employment with the employer in question for at least 12 months, unless a shorter time period is agreed upon by both parties. Employees must also give a 3 weeks notice to the employer before requesting parental leave.
Urgent Family Leave
Should an employee require time off to face urgent family matters, he or she is entitled to a minimum of 15 hours of paid leave per year. These hours are deducted from the annual leave entitlement of the employee. Generally, such situations relate to the urgent sickness or accidents of the immediate family members of the employee.
An employee is entitled to request jury service leave without losses of wage should he or she be called upon to attend Court duties. Full and Part-time employees are entitled to all the necessary time off they may need to serve the Court.
It is important to note that special rules may apply to organisations operating within industries that are covered by specific Wage Regulation Orders.
Should you wish to find out more, The Firstbridge Team is committed to providing you with the best possible guidance for the benefit of your employees, so for more information relevant to leave entitlement and linked topics feel free to contact Firstbridge to set up a consultation at [email protected]