According to Maltese law, maximum work hours are 48 hours per week (40 hours work time and 8 hours over time) unless the employee voluntarily consents to longer. Overtime must be paid extra.
Every employee in Malta is entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour work period. Employees must receive a minimum 24-hour rest period, in addition to this rest period, per seven-day work week. Employees are also entitled to rest breaks when the working day is longer than 6 hours.
Malta's national minimum wage for 2013 is €162 for employees aged 18 years and over, €155 for employees aged 17 years, and €152 for employees aged under 17 years. Calculated hourly, this is €4, €3.88 and €3.81, respectively.
Maltese salaries are lower than the EU average.
Foreign individuals can generally expect to earn less in a similar position in Malta than they did in their home country, particularly expats from Northern Europe, North America, and parts of Asia and Australia. However, the cost of living in Malta is also relatively inexpensive compared to these countries. Further, taxes in Malta are lower than most EU countries.
Opportunities for career advancement are also relative to the small size of the local business market and are therefore fewer compared to larger European countries. This means that for most expats the choice to live and work in Malta is based on quality of life, rather than salary or career advancements.
Average salaries in Malta vary widely between industries. As of 2011, Malta's average wage is €14,466 per year. Highest paid employees are those in the financial sector, at an average of €18,159 per year. Workers in the tourism industry earn an average of €12,077 per year. Employees in health and social work earn an average of €14,63, and public administrator workers earn and average of €16,293. As in all countries, salary is dependent on the experience and education of the employees. In some cases, foreign workers are recruited by companies in Malta based on their exceptional skills or experience. This is normally reflected in their salary.
All employees in Malta receive annual pay increases relative to the cost of living. This remuneration is governed by Malta's Wages Councils, or through collective agreements in specific industries, and is applied uniformly to Maltese and foreign workers.
Within 8 days of the commencement of an employee's contract, the employer must provide a written statement showing the conditions of employment. This normally outlines annual salary, time off, benefits, social security contributions, renewal conditions, termination procedures, and length of position.
Employment may be for a fixed term or for an indefinite term, and on a full time or part time basis. Whichever type of employment you are engaged in, check carefully the terms and conditions of your employment contract so that you understand your rights and obligations. Employers will be able to supply a copy of contracts of employment agreements in English and/or in Maltese.
A trial period, or probation period, is typically agreed upon at the beginning of the employment. This is normally six months, unless otherwise agreed by both parties for a shorter probation period, or a longer period for high profile jobs/managerial jobs.
Notice periods in Malta depend on how long employment has lasted, and are as follows:
Notice period starts on the working day following the day on which notice was given.
Employees have the right to ask for a reference letter when the employment ends. This will indicate the length of employment and the type of the work carried out.
Every worker in Malta is entitled to paid annual leave of at least the equivalent of 4 weeks and 4 working days, calculated on the basis of a 40 hour work week and 8 hour work day.
A minimum of 4 weeks of this time off may not be replaced by an allowance in lieu.
Workers also receive an additional 15 hours of paid time off per year for urgent family matters.
Part time employees, whose part time employment is their principal employment, are entitled pro rata to the minimum entitlement of all public holidays and annual vacation leave, sick leave, birth leave, bereavement leave, marriage leave, and injury leave applicable.
In Malta, the weekend falls on a Saturday and Sunday. Most shops and businesses have limited hours on Saturdays, and are closed on Sundays.
Malta has 14 national and public holidays. No extra days off in lieu are given if holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday.
National and public holidays in Malta:
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