Leave (annual leave, parental leave, etc.)


Annual leave

Employees in full-time employment on a 40-hour week are entitled to 216 hours of paid holidays per year. Paid holidays can be taken as agreed with the employer.

National and public holidays amount to another 14 working days. The following is the list of annual national and public holidays:

1 January

New Year’s Day

10 February

Feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck

19 March

Feast of St Joseph

31 March

Freedom Day – national holiday

< Movable Feast >

Good Friday

1 May

Worker’s Day

7 June

‘Sette Giugno’ – national holiday

29 June

Feast of St Peter and St Paul (‘L-Imnarja’)

15 August

Feast of the Assumption

08 September

Feast of Our Lady of Victories – national holiday

21 September

Independence Day – national holiday

08 December

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

13 December

Republic Day – national holiday

25 December

Christmas Day

No extra days in lieu are given for those national or public holidays falling on a Saturday or a Sunday (where the worker normally works from Monday to Friday).

All part-time workers shall be entitled pro rata to:

  • The minimum entitlement of all public holidays and annual paid holidays, sick leave, birth leave, bereavement leave, marriage leave, and injury leave applicable pursuant to the recognised conditions of employment and to any such other leave established by virtue of the Act.
  • Any entitlement to statutory bonuses and other income supplements to which comparable full-time employees on similar duties with the same employer are entitled pursuant to the recognised conditions of employment applicable to them.

Maternity leave

An employee may apply for maternity leave for an uninterrupted period of 14 weeks: since 2013, this period has been extended to 18 weeks. She must notify the employer at least 4 weeks before the maternity leave begins, insofar as is reasonably practicable.

Maternity leave can be taken as follows:

  • 6 weeks of the maternity leave entitlement to be taken compulsorily immediately after the date of confinement;
  • 4 weeks of maternity leave to be taken immediately before the expected date of confinement, unless agreed otherwise between the employer and the employee;
  • the remaining leave entitlement to be taken, in whole or in part, either immediately before or immediately after the above periods mentioned above, at the employee’s choosing.

If unable to take the maternity leave to which she is entitled before the date of confinement, the balance of entitlement may be used after confinement.

An employee on maternity leave is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave with full wages payable by her employer.

Parental leave

Male and female workers both have the individual right to be granted a period of 4 months’ unpaid parental leave on the grounds of birth, fostering, adoption or legal custody of a child to enable them to care for that child; such leave may be taken until the child has reached the age of eight. In the event that the parental leave is not taken, or if there is still an existing balance of parental leave, an employee remains entitled to such leave even if he or she changes employer or employment.

Employees in the private sector may take up to 4 months’ unpaid parental leave. Public servants, on the other hand, may take up to 1 year’s unpaid parental leave per child, and a once-only period of 5 years’ unpaid leave. The parental leave can also be shared by both parents.

Sick leave

Employees must notify the employer as soon as possible when they fall ill. A doctor’s certificate is required.

Employees are entitled to wages during illness according to Maltese law or applicable collective agreements. When the sick leave entitlement is exhausted the employer is no longer obliged to pay wages. The employee may be entitled to sickness benefits from the Social Security Department.

With regard to sick leave, the employee is entitled to claim entitlement to sick leave and the number of hours that the employee has taken as sick leave in a calendar year up to a maximum of 4 times a year. The employer is obliged to provide this information in writing within 5 working days of the request. ‚Äč

Other leave

Employers are required by law to grant every employee a minimum total of 12 hours with pay per year as time off from work for urgent family matters. The total number of hours taken by employee for urgent family reasons is deducted from their annual leave entitlement.

The employer has the right to establish the maximum number of hours of time off from work in each particular case, with the proviso that the minimum time should not be less than 1 hour per case unless the employee specifically agrees to this. The employer has the right to demand such evidence as may be necessary to verify and confirm the request for urgent leave by the employee. Part-time employees shall be entitled to pro-rata urgent leave entitlement.