Lovely weather for most of the year, plenty of entertainment spots, a relatively safe environment and short commuting distances make Malta a great place for working and playing.
And that is what a lot of people are doing – as Malta provides the right balance between working in a pleasant environment and having the opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends.
Working in Malta
Malta is one of the leading western European countries. Its population grew in 2022 at a fast rate, with a CAGR of 2.5 per cent between 2017 to 2022.
Market experts are predicting that Malta is expected to grow economically and that the Maltese GDP will grow by 3.4 per cent at constant prices in 2027.
As in most countries, the right of workers in Malta is enshrined in the Constitution – which declares the basic principles of workers’ rights, such as working hours, and the right of all workers irrespective of gender. Through the Employment and Industrial Relations Act, Malta also regulates all aspects of employment – for both employers and employees.
Enforcement of such legislation is carried out by the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations.
Basic set of rights
This is in line with European legislation – as every worker in the EU is protected and entitled to a basic set of rights, including equal opportunities, health and safety, protection against discrimination.
For instance, employees should be given equal treatment, and any form of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, trade union or other employment association memberships, is unacceptable within various contexts, including recruitment, working conditions, career advancement opportunities and wages.
Similarly, employees cannot be discriminated against, irrespective of marital status, social status, or parental responsibilities. This falls within the concept of same job, same pay.
The constitution also ensures equal rights for men and women at work. It is supplemented by other employment legislation, including the Persons with Disability Act, the Equal Opportunities Act and the Equality for Men and Women Act.
The basics of Malta’s working conditions
Employees have the right to clear working conditions – and this is also stated by EU law, which states that working conditions should be transparent and predictable. This means that employees have the right to know essential aspects of their position, receive training, and have the facility to make changes to their work, such as requesting a transfer. EU law also lays down how employees should be given this information.
Part-time workers also have rights – and legally, job conditions for part-timers must be not less favorable than those for full-time workers. These rights include the facility to transfer from part-time to full-time status – or vice-versa.
The employment contracts
Conditions regarding salary are also enshrined in Maltese law. In 2022, the minimum wage in Malta of full-time employment is €182.83 per week for employees aged 18 years and over. Work Contracts should include full details of employer and employee, job type and location, vacations, and other benefits, and they are expired and need to be renewed after 4 years.Furthermore, every worker is entitled to statutory bonus and weekly allowances, depending on the economic activity of the enterprise.
The benefits by law
Due to the Wage Regulation Orders in Malta vary from one sector to another, Malta’s law caters for 32 different job sectors, from agriculture and professional offices to public transport and retail.
While at first glance, the national minimum wage seems to be on the average side, when taking into consideration cost of living, this is relatively high – especially when compared to that of countries, such as Denmark’s, which are considered to have a high minimum wage.
With regards to hours, legislation also determines certain conditions. So workers cannot work more than 48 hours per week, excluding overtime.
An employee can choose to work more hours – but only through a written consent, and only if rest periods are observed. With regards to rest periods, employees are entitled to a minimum of 15 minutes of rest for a working day of more than six hours.
Moreover, employees are entitled to 11 consecutive hours of rest in between leaving work and returning the next day. The law also lays down an employee’s entitlement to leave and sick leave.
Such conditions – together with a healthy economic environment, explains why Malta’s unemployment rate is very low. During 2022, the unemployment rate dropped in mid-year from 3.22 per cent to 2.93 per cent.
Last August, the National Statistics Office said that the number of persons registering for work stood at 925, a decrease by 671 when compared to the corresponding month in 2021.
And with market experts predicting that Malta’s economic growth will grow further, job opportunities will increase, as the demand for various skills in Malta continues to grow.
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