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This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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The Republic of Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea that consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. 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. The primary industry is services. Tourism initiated in the early 1960s now accounts for a significant portion of Malta's economy.

Employment contracts in Malta can be fixed-term or permanent, written or verbal. Employment contracts in Malta usually are written and in the local language. If the employment contract is oral, the employer still must provide the employee with the details of the employment in writing.

The employment contract must contain at least:

  • the workplace,

  • probation period,

  • salary details,

  • working hours and overtime, and

  • termination notice period.

The standard work week in Malta is 40 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 in Malta 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. The employer pays the first three days of sick leave, after which the employee may be entitled to a social security benefit. 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.

Female employees receive 18 weeks of paid maternity leave in Malta. The employer pays the first 14 weeks in full and the government pays the remainder. The mother must take at least six weeks of maternity leave after giving birth. Male employees receive 10 days of paid paternity leave, which must be taken during the first 15 days after the birth or adoption of a child.

Employees with at least one year of service at their current employer are entitled to four months of parental leave to care for their child, two months paid and two months unpaid. Parental leave can be taken in increments of no less than one month until the child reaches the age of eight years.

Employees in Malta are entitled to a weekly minimum wage. Bonuses are mandatory in Malta. Employers pay bonuses at the end of June, December, March and September.

Employees who work 40 hours per week receive a basic allotment of 192 hours of paid leave per year in Malta, equivalent to 24 working days of eight hours each. In practice, employees normally receive a few additional days 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.

In Malta, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Feast of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck

  • Feast of Saint Joseph

  • Good Friday

  • Freedom Day

  • Labor Day/May Day

  • Sette Giugno

  • Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

  • The Feast of Mary’s Assumption

  • The Feast of Our Lady of Victories

  • Independence Day

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception

  • Republic Day

  • Christmas Day

Malta provides universal healthcare. 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 to 12 months unless otherwise agreed by the parties for a shorter period. Both parties can terminate the contract during this period without any reason, but notice of one week is required for employments that last for a month.

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, notice is required and ranges between one week to 12 weeks depending on length of service.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    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.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Malta can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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