Malta’s Republican Constitution since 1974 is the main instrument that regulates the Labor Law
. It is divided into: the primary legislation
, the secondary legislation and the Public Service Management Code.
The Employment Law in Malta implies the employment contract which is an agreement between an employer and an employee that specifies the duties, the wage/salary agreed upon for the employee. The contract is usually written and it is handed to the worker within 8 days from starting the employment.
With a vast experience in various legal matters, our employment lawyers in Malta
can advise you on employment-related issues. We can also help you set up a business and hire employees in Malta
What are the main laws governing employment relations in Malta?
Malta has a complex legislation when it comes to employment matters. All employment relations are governed by the main Labor Code
, but also by subsidiary legislation which is mainly made of EU directives integrated in the national laws. Local and foreign investors opening companies in Malta and hiring employees
must respect the following laws:
the Employment and Industrial Relations Law, shortly known as the Labor Code;
the Employment Commissions Law and the Employment and Training Services Law;
the Wage Regulations Orders which provide for specific employment conditions in certain sectors;
the Public Service Management Code which contains provisions about the employment of officers in public administrations.
The Employment Law
is one of the most important laws which must be respected by Maltese companies, but also by foreign companies
operating here and hiring Maltese citizens. Companies hiring foreign personnel must also comply with the Maltese Labor Code
as long as these conduct their activities in this country.
If you need information on specific employment conditions, our law firm in Malta can guide you. Our employment lawyers in Malta can offer legal assistance.
Types of employees and employment contracts in Malta
One of the most important provisions of the Maltese Labor Code
refers to the type of workers and employment contracts
they can enter. Individuals are categorized as employees or self-employed personnel. When it comes to employees, the legislation refers to several categories of workers, among which:
However, there is also the self-employed person who offers his/her services to several clients. These will usually be registered as sole traders in Malta
and will be taxed on their personal income.
Under the Malta Employment Law, employees can also be categorized based on the labor contracts they have entered into. From this point of view, they can be full-time workers with contracts which requires to work 40 hours per week. They can also be whole-time workers which implies for them to work between 20 and 35 hours per week at full-time schedule, and part-time employees who can work up to 35 hours per week but in shifts of less than 8 hours per day.
Our employment attorneys in Malta
can offer more information on employment contracts
and can advise on various employment-related matters
, including litigation
The employment contract in Malta
The employment contract in Malta
can be signed for fixed or unlimited period of time and the job can be full-time or part-time. In Malta the usual probation time is 6 months unless specified otherwise. During the trial period any of the parties can conclude the employment without a reason, but in this case a week’s notice must be given.
The contract must contain data about the salary, payment for overtime work, the program (number of hours per day, per week), where the work takes place and the time off the worker is entitled to. The salary must be paid at regular time spans that will not exceed 4 weeks. Contracts
signed for a determined period of time can be renewed yearly. However, starting the 4th year of employment, the employee will be working based on indefinite time work contract
Employment obligations in Malta
Both the employer
and employee have rights and duties which must be agreed upon through a work contract. It is possible for the employment contract
to be concluded in an oral or written form, however, Malta is one of the countries in which written contracts stands at the base of employment relations. Where an oral form of the contract has been agreed, the employer has the obligation to provide the worker with a simplified written form of the agreement which contains the basic requirements and obligations within 8 days.
Among the rights of Maltese employees, we mention the following:
the right to be compensated for the work they provide in accordance with the stipulations of the contract;
the right to weekly rest periods, sick pay and paid annual leave;
the right to good employment conditions and access to equipment which allows them to do their jobs;
the right to privacy and protection of personal information.
Starting with 2018, all Maltese companies must respect the General Data Protection Regulations
imposed at EU level. Maltese employers
also have rights under the Employment Law
and among them are to benefit from the work of the employees, to impose sanctions where the requirements of the job are not fulfilled and even to dismiss employees upon severe misconducts.
Our employment lawyers in Malta can offer more information on the rights and obligations of employers and employees.
Working hours and annual leave in Malta
Working hours for a full time position in Malta are usually 40/week, but according to the law, 48 hours per week is the maximum limit admitted. The additional eight hours will be considered overtime and must be paid accordingly.
Maltese employees are entitled to 24 days of annual leave, according to the law, and public holidays are also days off throughout the year. Malta has about 14 public holidays. Employees aged between 16 and 18 will benefit from reduced working hours, according to the Maltese legislation. They cannot exceed an 8-hour schedule and 40 hours per week.
Payment of salaries in Malta
are paid in cash or by cheque that can be cashed at Maltese banks. Salaries
are paid on regular basis by companies in Malta
and the employer and employee may agree on the period the salary is paid. The employer may not impose any conditions about the payment of the salary and may not withhold any amount except from the wage taxes the state requires.
Hiring foreign individuals in Malta
Foreign citizens from EU countries are allowed to come and live in Malta
without applying for a residence permit for three months. During this time, they may also take employment with a Maltese company
. After this period of time, they must apply for a work permit in order to be hired in Malta
. Foreign citizens from non-EU countries may also come to Malta in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act. However, they will only be hired by a Maltese company
after obtaining their work visas.
Terminating an employment contract in Malta
In case of ending a contract signed on a limited period of time, the party ending the agreement before the term must pay half of the gaining the employee would have made in the time remaining until the end of the contract.
In case of dismissal
, the Maltese law is very strict. The Maltese company
can end a contract only if there is a good cause, in case of redundancy and if the employee has achieved the retirement age.
The employee can end the agreement without presenting any reason.
In Malta, at the end of a contract that has been signed on unlimited period of time, the notice is calculated as it follows:
for periods from 1 to 6 months, the notice will be one week;
for periods between 6 months and 2 years, the notice will be two weeks;
for periods between 2 and 4 years - four weeks;
for periods between 4 and 7 years - eight weeks;
for periods exceeding 7 years, the maximum notice to be given is 12 weeks.
Special treatment and protection, in case of termination, is offered to injured people and women in maternity leave. The Industrial Tribunal
is in charge with judging commercial disputes, wrongful dismissals and all the cases that present breaches of employment laws and work ethics.
Reasons to terminate employment in Malta
According to the Malta Employment Act
, an employer does not require a specific reason to dismiss employees
. However, employment cannot be ended during the maternity leave for women. Upon dismissal
, the Maltese company
must give notice to the employee. The notice period begins the second day the employee was announced.
The same conditions apply when it comes to fixed-term employment contracts in Malta. However, any of the parties ending the contract before it expires is bound to pay a remuneration to the other party.
The termination of work relations in Malta
According to the Maltese laws
, the dismissal of employees
falls under very strict regulations. An employer may terminate a labor contract
based on a good and sufficient cause. The term “good and sufficient cause” cannot be punctually defined which is why certain cases falling within these terms may be brought before the Industrial Tribunal
that will decide if the dismissal
was lawful or not. Redundancy
and reaching the retirement age
are considered legal grounds for dismissal in Malta.
When redundancy is the reason for ending employment, the “Last In, First Out” rule must apply, which means, an employer must dismiss the person last employed on the position affected by redundancy.
Employment facts in Malta
According to the National Statistics Office:
in 2017, the national employment rate was 69.2%, 1.5% higher than the average EU employment rate;
during the first quarter of 2018, the employment rate grew to 69.7%;
the unemployment rate in August 2018 was one of the lowest in the last few years, of only 3.8%;
in 2018, the private sector contributed with 90% of new job creation.
If you need more information about the Employment Law
or you want to open a company in Malta, our Maltese lawyers
can provide you legal assistance. You can contact our employment lawyers in Malta
for specific details.