Answer ... In Malta, there is a national minimum wage which must be adhered to, unless an industry-specific wage regulation order provides for a more favourable minimum wage.
For employees aged 18 and over, the weekly minimum wage is €175.84. The minimum wage is typically adjusted annually to reflect the cost of living. A part-time employee will be entitled to part of the cost of living increase in proportion to the hours worked. In 2019 the cost-of-living adjustment per week for full-time employees was €2.33, topped up by an additional €1 supplement.
Employers are also bound to pay statutory allowances and government bonuses twice yearly. The statutory allowance is payable every six months at the rate of €121.16 (payable end of March) and €121.16 (payable end of September). The statutory bonus is payable every six months at the rate of €135.10 (payable end of June) and €135.10 (payable from 15 to 23 December).
Employers must also take into account obligations under the tax and social security laws, and are generally obliged to deduct and remit income tax and to pay employer and employee social security contributions.
The rules on wages for public service and public sector employees differ.
Answer ... Certain industries in Malta are regulated by sector-specific wage regulation orders, which mandate the payment of overtime rates – for instance, where work is carried out on weekends or public holidays, or where a stipulated threshold of hours is exceeded over a specified period. Such entitlement is also likely to arise when there is a collective agreement regulating the conditions of employment at a workplace.
Employees whose overtime rate is not covered by a wage regulation order are covered by the Overtime Regulations (SL 452.110), which stipulate a rate of one and a half times the normal rate for work carried out in excess of a 40-hour week, averaged over a four-week period or over the shift cycle at the discretion of the employer.
In Malta, there is also a generally applied practice whereby the employer and employee may agree to a consolidated wage which covers payment for all hours of work, including overtime hours. Discussion remains as to whether this practice is permissible in light of the Overtime Regulations, which at face value do not expressly permit the use of consolidated wages. However, the practice remains common, particularly in relation to senior grade employees and C-level executives, whose wages exceed double the minimum wage. Any such agreements must be drafted with attention, to ensure compliance with the rules on provision of information to employees.
The rules on overtime for public service and public sector employees differ.
Answer ... As from 1 January 2019, employees working 40 hours per week are entitled to a total of 208 hours of paid annual leave (26 days). This minimum standard applies to both private and public sector employees.
This is calculated on the basis of a 40-hour working week and an eight-hour working day, so that if the average normal hours (excluding overtime) calculated over a period of 17 weeks is below or exceeds 40 hours per week, the entitlement in hours should be adjusted accordingly.
Part-time employees are entitled to paid vacation leave calculated on a pro rata basis. The entitlement is also calculated proportionally for employees who have not completed a full year of service.
The Organisation of Working Time Regulations (SL 452.87) establish the minimum leave entitlement and the rules relating to the carrying forward of leave and payments in lieu. The more recently enacted Annual Leave National Standard Order (SL 452.115) establishes further conditions relating to the application and authorisation of leave, limitations on forced leave and accrual of leave during sickness, injury or maternity leave.
Answer ... Paid sick leave entitlement varies substantially, depending on whether a wage regulation order regulates the specific industry sector or whether a collective agreement is agreed between the union and the employer.
Where a sector is not regulated by any wage regulation order or collective agreement, the paid sick leave entitlement amounts to two working weeks per year (calculated in hours), as stipulated by the Minimum Special Leave Entitlement Regulations (SL 452.101) This sick leave entitlement is to be calculated on the basis of a 40-hour working week and an eight-hour working day.
‘Sick leave’ is defined as leave granted to an employee who presents a medical certificate certifying incapacity for work. Payment on sick leave is an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act, if applicable (although the first three days of sickness absence must be paid in full by the employer).
Part-time employees are entitled to paid sick leave calculated on a pro rata basis. The entitlement is also calculated proportionally for employees who have not completed a full year of service.
Unless otherwise provided in an applicable collective agreement, an employee who has been absent from work on sick leave must present a medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner attesting to the employee’s incapacity for work during any such period of absence. Such medical certificate must be presented to the employer on the day of return to work or, if the period of absence is longer than seven days, within seven days of the onset of sick leave absence. The employer has the right, if it deems fit, to send a medical practitioner to visit and examine an employee who is on sick leave.
Sick leave entitlement in the public service sector is regulated by the Public Service Management Code.
Answer ... The current retirement age is 62. However, the pensionable age varies:
- For those born between 1952 and 1955, the pensionable age is 62;
- For those born between 1956 and 1958, the pensionable age is 63;
- For those born between 1959 and 1961, the pensionable age is 64; and
- For those born on or after 1 January 1962, the pensionable age is 65.
Currently, an employer can terminate the employment of an employee when the employee reaches pensionable age without having to give prior notice or have any other valid cause.