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:
- employees of companies;
- workers in various agencies;
- contract staff;
- self-employed personnel who depend on a specific employer.
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 lawyers in Malta can offer more information on employment contracts and can advise on various employment-related matters, including litigation.
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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.
Those who want to buy a house in Malta can benefit from legal support from our lawyers with experience in real estate. The formalities involved in the transaction involve checking the history of the chosen property, as well as drawing up the sale-purchase contract. This document must mention the names of the former owners, as well as the current ones, a brief description of the respective property, the final price, as well as the conditions under which the transaction will be made, usually in front of a notary public. We will represent you in any endeavor, even if you are not in Malta for the signing of the documents.
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 stand 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.
Maltese companies hiring employees must comply with the requirements imposed by the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations.
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.
If you need other legal services in other countries we can put you in touch with our partners.
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
Wages 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.
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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.
Other issues about employment in Malta
If you want to work in Malta or if you are interested in hiring workers for the company you have in this country, it is good to consider all the important aspects in this sector. In addition to the above, you can discover the following information:
- The working norm is 40 hours of work per week. An employee should not exceed the limit of 48 hours of work per week.
- The employee’s salary is established by the employer. There is also the possibility of negotiation.
- The probationary period is one month, during which the employer can decide whether the worker remains in office or not.
- Self-employed means that you work for yourself. In addition, there are some tax advantages.
- Employees can also work part-time in Malta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our employment lawyers in Malta often receive questions about the employment sector and more precisely about the rights of employees, but also of employers. Therefore, the following questions and answers may clarify certain issues, remembering that you can rely on our help if you want legal advice on various topics.
Yes, Maltese law allows this, and employers must consider visa and residence permit formalities where applicable.
According to the legislation of this country, the working time is 40 hours per week as a full-time employee, and exactly 8 hours per day. There is also the possibility to have part-time employees in the company.
Workers can benefit from standard employment contracts, fixed-term and indefinite, according to the Malta Employment Law. Project-based contracts are also accepted, but all details can be provided by our employment lawyers in Malta.
The employment contract in Malta must include all the details related to the type of commitment, either for a determined or indefinite period, the type of activity, the legal rights regarding rest leave, salary rights, access to the work equipment offered in the company, the conditions in which such a contract may be concluded.
Yes, according to Employment Law in Malta, minors can accept jobs, but they can benefit from reduced working hours. Otherwise, employers can be checked and even fined if they do not comply with current legislation.
The work permit and the residence permit are the necessary documents to be able to hire foreign workers in Malta. The company can deal with these issues, together with our employment lawyers in Malta, with experience in immigration and relocation.
A work commitment can be concluded with the agreement of both parties or when the company decides to fire a worker. However, the rights mentioned in the employment contract must be respected, especially the financial ones.
Abusive dismissals can be resolved in the Industrial Tribunal in Malta. If you are in such a situation, you can contact our specialists and you can benefit from legal advice in order to be able to earn your rights stipulated by the laws of Malta.
Commission-based employment in Malta is the type of job where employees are paid only if they reach their targets. Payment is made by calculating a certain percentage of the respective sales.
Our employment lawyers in Malta can deal with the preparation of employment contracts and the formalities involved in hiring workers. We can also help you if the company you own is involved in various employment disputes.
Why work with our employment lawyers in Malta
Our team of specialists can offer you legal help and advice if you want to hire workers in your company. Everything related to formalities, including those related to employees from foreign countries, comes to the attention of our employment lawyers in Malta.
We rely on professionalism, experience, and efficiency when collaborating with our clients. In addition, if the company you own is involved in employment disputes, we can represent your interests, so you can solve these problems well.
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.