On the 26th of November 2021, the Minister for Finance and Employment published two new National Standard Orders (the 'NSO') as to regulate wage increases for 2022 - the National Minimum Wage National Standard Order 2021 (L.N 462 of 2021) and the Wage Increase (Employees) National Standard Order, 2021 (L.N 463 of 2021). Both these NSOs will be effective as of the 1st of January 2022.
The National Minimum Wage NSO 2021 increases the minimum wage applicable to employees whose employment is governed by Maltese Law. Accordingly, the weekly minimum wage entitlement for whole-time employees has been increased from ?171.46 to ?173.21 for employees under 17 years of age, from ?174.30 to ?176.05 for 17-year-old employees and from ?181.08 to ?182.83 for any other employees aged 18 or over. This NSO also provides for increases applicable where wages are laid down in a Wages Council Wage Regulated Order. In such cases, wages are to be adjusted for cost of living by any increases of wages in terms of Article 8 of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act or by wage increases for cost of living laid down by any other NSO applicable in respect of 2022. The latter was set out in the Wage Increase (Employees) NSO 2021 which increases all wages of whole-time employees by ?1.75 per week.
Both these NSOs also establish parallel increases for part-time employees. The National Minimum Wage NSO 2021 states that part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata hourly increase in accordance with the minimum wage of any Wage Regulation Order applicable to comparable whole-time employees. Where no such Wage Regulation Order exists, the hourly increase is to be calculated in line with the National Standard Minimum Wage applicable. Similarly, the Wage Increase (Employees) NSO 2021 establishes that the hourly rate of part-time employees must be increased by the same amount as the hourly increase of a comparable whole-time employee calculated after the ?1.75 weekly increase is made. In absence of any comparable employees in the same workplace, the hourly increase is to be calculated in line with any applicable Wage Regulation Order or, in absence of such Wage Regulation Order, in line with the increase established within the Wage Increase (Employees) NSO 2021 itself.
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