Shutdowns in Malta – What does the law say?




The shutdown of businesses in Malta on or around St. Marija (the 15th August for the non-Maltese) is a long standing tradition.


This also happens regularly at Christmas time.


Some of the legal issues you should be familiar with.


  1. As from the 1 January 2019, these matters are regulated specifically by the Annual Leave National Standard Order. 
  1. An employer may have more than one (1) shutdown period during a year. However, any such period of closure shall not, in aggregate, exceed 12 working days in a calendar year.  The law permits that a different threshold be set but this has to be reflected in a collective agreement or in an agreement between the employer and the employee.
  1. When a public holiday falls on a Thursday or a Tuesday, it is not uncommon for employers to designate as a holiday the day between the holiday and the weekend. For the purposes of law, any so-called “bridge holidays” are counted for the purposes of the maximum threshold (12 days, or as otherwise agreed between the parties.
  1. Any type of shutdown and bridging of holidays is to be communicated to all employees by the end of January of each year.


You may be liable to fines and penalties if you fail to abide with the provisions summarized above.


If you have any questions on shutdowns, holidays and bridge holidays, feel free to reach out to us.

Give an email
get the newsletter.

Dr. Mariella Baldacchino - Founder

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.

Dr. Bradley Gatt - Of Counsel

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.

Dr. Karl Sammut - Of Counsel

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.