Recent Amendments to Maltese Employment Law – SUSPENDED

MEDIA ROOM

These Legal Notices have been Suspended – Read Updates Here.

[gdlr_divider type=”solid” size=”50%” ]

On the 10th of August 2018, a number of Legal Notices have been published bringing about changes to the current employment legislative framework. The salient features of such changes cover: annual leave, payslips, agency workers, and transfer of undertakings.

Annual Leave

While introducing new principles to the national employment framework, the legislator may be seen as crystallising the position in respect of certain principles which have developed through case law.

Vacation Leave

Through the recent introductions, annual leave shall be availed of on days agreed upon between the employer and the employee.

Once vacation leave from the annual leave entitlement of the employee has been agreed to by the employer and the employee, such leave cannot be cancelled unilaterally, but can only be cancelled if both the employer and the employee are in agreement

Shutdown

While the concept of shutdown is a relatively common concept, one can note that only through the recent amendments that standards have been set within our legislative framework.

As of the 1st of January 2019, an employer may only utilize up to the equivalent in hours of twelve working days from an employee’s annual leave entitlement for the purposes of any type of shutdown.

It is also worth noting that any type of shut down which is to be allotted during a year shall be communicated to all employees by the end of January of each calendar year.

Maternity Leave

It is interesting to note that the recent amendments to the legislation have clarified the right of an employee to continue to accrue annual leave in her favour during her maternity leave. Even more so. any balance of annual leave unavailed of by the end of the calendar year shall be automatically transferred to the next calendar year when it has not been possible for the employee to avail herself of such leave during the same year when the maternity leave commenced.

An employee on maternity leave shall also be entitled to the equivalent in hours of an additional day of annual leave of any public or national holiday falling on a day of work or on a weekly day of rest not being a Saturday or a Sunday.

Sick/Injury Leave

Similar to the what has been clarified vis-à-vis employees on maternity leave, annual leave shall  also continue  to  accrue  in  favour  of  an employee during the period when s/he is on sick leave or injury leave, irrespective of whether the sick leave or the injury leave is fully paid, partially paid or unpaid.  Any balance of annual leave unavailed of by the end of the calendar year shall be automatically transferred to the next calendar year when it has not been possible for the employee to avail himself/herself of such leave during the same year when the sickness or injury leave commenced.

The Itemised Payslip

The amendments establish, under pain of criminal responsibility and sanction, what the payslip is to include and the clear unequivocal obligation of the employer to give a payslip to the employee with every salary paid. In terms of law, an employer is bound to give to his employees an itemised payslip either before, or on the date when the wages are due.  The Itemised Payslip Regulations set out the minimum requirements which must be included in the relative payslips:

  • name of the employer
  • name of the employee,
  • address of the employer
  • employee’s designation,
  • total wages paid and the breakdown thereof
  • the period in respect of which the contents relate to.
  • number of normal hours worked including those worked on Sunday or on a public holiday when this is part of the scheduled normal hours;
  • number of hours entitled at overtime or special rate broken down into those in excess of normal daily or weekly hours, hours worked on a Sunday or on a public holiday;
  • number of hours of annual leave availed of and any remaining balance;
  • number of hours of sick leave availed of during a calendar year;
  • basic wages received;
  • a breakdown of any bonuses, allowances or commissions received; and
  • any deductions effected, including national insurance contributions, tax and others

Temporary Agency Workers

By virtue of the latest amendments to the temporary agency workers regulations, the legislator is aiming to close a loophole

Transfer of Undertaking

The amendments within this field have not altered any conditions of employment of employees affected by the transfer, but rather, these amendments serve to clarify that the Transfer of Business (Protection of Employment) Regulations” apply only when the undertaking which is to be transferred is situated in Malta.