The Republic of Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea that consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Tourism initiated in the early 1960’s now accounts for 12% of Malta’s GDP. The capital, Valletta, is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. The island is well known for its turquoise lagoons and crowded beaches. Malta has few natural resources, but limestone is a major resource. Pharmaceutical production is an industry that has seen rapid growth as well.
Employment contracts can be fixed-term or permanent, written or verbal. The employment contracts in Malta usually are written and in the local language. In case of an oral agreement, the employer still must provide the employee with the details of the employment in writing.
The employment contract must contain at least:
The standard work week in Malta is 40 hours up to 48 hours, depending on the industry. An employer can ask an employee to work more than 48 hours per week, but the employee must consent. Employers cannot retaliate against an employee for refusing to work overtime. If the employee consents to working more than 48 hours a week, the employer must provide the daily and weekly rest periods established by law. Employees can withdraw consent to work more than 48 hours per week.
For most industries in Malta, overtime is regulated by the Wage Regulation Order (WRO). Employees not covered by the WRO are paid at a rate of 50% over the regular rate for work in excess of 40 hours a week, averaged over a four-week period or shift cycle determined by the employer.
The amount of sick leave an employee is entitled to depends on the industry and whether the employee is covered by the Wage Regulation Order (WRO). Employees not covered by WRO receive two weeks of sick leave each calendar year and less specific social security entitlements. The employer pays the first three days. Part-time employees are entitled to sick leave on a pro-rata basis.
Employees need to present a medical certificate and inform their employer of the illness. Employees receive up to one year of leave due to an injury incurred in the performance of work duties at full pay. This is less if they receive any amounts from social security. Leave will not be granted if the injury was caused by the employee’s negligence or failure to follow employer procedures.
Female employees receive 18 weeks of paid maternity leave with six mandatory weeks after the birth if they have a year of service. The employer fully pays the first 14 weeks and the government pays the remainder. Male employees receive one day of paid leave for the birth of a child, or two days for the birth of twins. Employees receive four months of unpaid parental leave related to the birth, adoption, fostering or legal custody of a child to enable them to take care of that child. Parental leave can be taken in increments of no less than one month until the child has attained the age of eight years.
Employees in Malta are entitled to a weekly minimum wage. Bonuses are mandatory in Malta. Payments are made by the employer, whether public or private, to the employee at the end of June, the end of December, the end of March and the end of September.
Employees in Malta who work 40 hours per week receive a basic allotment of 192 hours of paid leave per year, equivalent to 24 working days of eight hours each. In practice, employees normally receive a few additional days’ worth of paid leave each year to compensate for public holidays which fall on weekends. The amount of annual leave for employees who work more or less than 40 hours per week is adjusted proportionally. Annual leave is prorated for employees who have worked for an employer for less than one year.
The state provides universal healthcare, and some employers offer supplementary private healthcare insurance.
Termination of employment can occur during the probation period, at the end of the contract term, by the employer (with or without cause) or by the employee. The probation period is six months unless otherwise agreed by the parties for a shorter period. Both parties can terminate the contract during this period without any reason, but a notice of one week is required for employments that last for a month.
The probation period rises to a year for those with technical, executive, or managerial positions. A fixed-term contract can be terminated during the probation period without reason. One week of notice is required if the employment exceeds one month. If there is not a justified reason to terminate the employment after the probation period, the party who breaches the contract is responsible for paying a sum equal to one-half of the full wages that would have accrued if the contract of employment remained in force. Both parties can terminate a contract for an indefinite term. The employer can terminate the employee for good and sufficient cause, redundancy or when retirement age is reached. If the employer decides to terminate the contract on grounds of redundancy, notice is required and ranges between one week to 12 weeks depending on length of service.
We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.
Our team of regional experts are here to support you with your global expansion plans. If you have any questions, just get in touch and we will be delighted to help.