In July 2020, the EU Commission ('Commission') initiated infringement procedures against Malta in relation to the abolishment of the employment license requirement for residents with long term status as the Commission concluded that such requirement represents an infringement of Article 11(1)(a) of the Long-Term Residence Directive (2003/109/EC) ('Directive').
The Directive stipulates that long-term residents shall enjoy equal treatment with nationals regarding access to employment and self-employed activity, provided such activities do not entail even occasional involvement in the exercise of public authority, and conditions of employment and working conditions, including conditions regarding dismissal and remuneration.
Thus, in view of this, the Commission expressed that by obliging third country nationals who are long term residents in Malta to have an employment license, Malta is failing to comply with their obligations in terms of the Directive.
As outlined in our initial article, Malta had a time-period of three months in order to respond to the letter of formal notice.
By virtue of Legal Notice 84 of 2021, however, the requirement of an employment license for residents who are in possession of long-term status in Malta has been abolished and thus, Article 11(1)(a) of Subsidiary Legislation 217.05 (Status of Long-Term Residents (Third Country Nationals)) shall now read as follows:
A third country national granted long-term residence status in Malta shall enjoy equal treatment as Maltese nationals as regards:
Access to employment and self-employed activity, as long as such activities do not entail even occasional involvement in the exercise of public authority and are not reserved by law for Maltese nationals in terms of the Public Administration Act and any regulations made thereunder and such access should not be subject to the requirement of an employment licence.
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