As of August 2, 2022, new fathers are entitled to ten (10) days of paid paternity leave on the occasion of the birth of a new-born or the adoption of a child, replacing the one (1) day birth leave to which they were entitled before that date. This is one of the new leave entitlements introduced by the Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers Regulations, Legal Notice 201 of 2022, which transpose provisions of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive into Maltese law. The benefits apply to workers under a contract of employment and any contract under which the worker undertakes to perform or personally provide work or services to another contracting party who is not his professional client.
The following is a summary of the leave entitlements introduced:
What is it?
What are the main terms and conditions?
Leave from work for fathers or, where and insofar as recognised by national law, for equivalent second parents, on the occasion of the birth or the adoption of a child for the purposes of providing care
Ten (10) working days, to be taken on the occasion of the birth or the adoption of the worker’s child, immediately after the birth or the adoption of the child, without loss of wage.
Not subject to a period of work qualification or to a length of service qualification.
To be granted irrespective of the worker’s marital or family status.
Leave from work for parents on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child, child fostering or legal custody of a child to take care of that child (until the child has attained the age of eight (8) years).
Parental leave can be taken flexibly, can be transferable from one parent to another and can be taken gradually over the first eight (8) years (4 weeks of paid leave during the child’s first four (4) years; two (2) weeks of paid leave between four (4) and six (6) years; and the remaining two (2) weeks between six (6) and eight (8) years).
Not restricted if worker is full-time, part-time, on an indefinite or fixed term contract
The worker must have been in the employment with the same employer for a continuous period of at least twelve (12) months. Special terms may apply for fixed term contracts.
If parental leave has been agreed, the employer cannot suspend the parental leave and ask the employee to resume work before, unless otherwise agreed between them. However, the employer may postpone temporarily (as required by law) for justifiable reasons.
During the period of parental leave, the employee can apply for promotion opportunities that arise in the workplace.
Both the employer concerned and the employee concerned are required to maintain contact during the leave period and can agree to make arrangements for any appropriate reintegration measures, which must be determined between the parties themselves.
Flexible working arrangement
The possibility for workers to adjust their working patterns including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexibile working schedules or reduced working hours.
This may include remote working, working on reduced hours and flexitime
During the first eight (8) years of the children’s lives, parents have the right to ask for flexible working hours.
Flexible working arrangements may be limited in duration
Leave from work for workers in order toprovide personal care or support to a relative, or to a person who lives in the same household as the worker, and who is in need of care or support for a serious medical reason.
Carer means any worker providing personal care or support to a relative, or to a person who lives in the same household as the worker, and who is in need of care or support for a serious medical reason
Five (5) working days per year, which shall be unpaid.
Such legislative developments are a step in the right direction towards a better work environment and gender equality where parents can share responsibility.
For further information on the Work-Life Balance Parents and Carers Regulations, please get in touch with us.
Mariella graduated from the University of Malta with a doctorate in law in 2005. She completed a master’s degree in ‘European Private Law’ from the La Sapienza, University of Rome, and was admitted to the bar in Malta in 2006.
Mariella is a people person – and it is this attribute which has really characterised and shaped her career.
Over the years, she headed the legal departments of several corporate services firms. Due to her skillset, she was also entrusted with managing and overseeing operations and human resources, where she gained technical and practical experience in various corporate, commercial and employment matters.
Her practical hands-on experience and insight perfectly complement Mariella’s technical knowledge of employment law, thus placing her in an ideal position to understand and advise employers and employees alike on various matters that may arise at the workplace.
Mariella is passionate about employment law matters and provides her clients with the highest-quality legal service to achieve the best possible outcome and resolve any employment law related issues and concerns.
Bradley graduated Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2005 and was admitted to the Bar in Malta in 2006. He advises clients on various corporate, commercial, employment and regulatory matters, with particular focus on company and financial services law.
He has assisted clients in various corporate and commercial matters by providing company law advice and assisting in the implementation of corporate finance, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and similar transactions.
Bradley has also advised and assisted investment funds, fund managers and other investment services providers, banks and financial institutions, on various legal and regulatory matters relating to the setting up, authorisation and ongoing conduct of their activities in Malta.
His practice also covers general employment law matters. Bradley’s experience in company and financial services law enables him to focus on various corporate and regulatory aspects of employment relationships. In particular, he advises organisations on the implementation of employee share option and participation schemes, the implications of business transfers on employment relationships, as well as relations with senior employees.
Karl graduated Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2005 and was admitted to the Bar in Malta in 2006.
Karl has gained considerable expertise in technology law and regularly assists clients in relation to intellectual property issues, commercial contracts and ways to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy laws. Whilst such matters used to be only given incidental importance when dealing with employment matters, they are now widely acknowledged to be vital in all employment relationships.
He is also regularly engaged by C-level executives to assist in negotiating employment contracts and settlement agreements.
Karl advises across a multitude of industries including technology; marketing; adtech; financial services; gaming; esports; consumer products; and media and telecommunications.