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The electoral victory of Malta's Labour Party at yesterday's general elections means that day in lieu public holidays are very likely to be restored in Malta.
Last month (2013-02-01), the Secretary-General of Malta's General Workers' Union (GWU), Tony Zarb, stated that he expected the new Labour government to restore the practice of declaring a Monday public holiday whenever a fixed-date public holiday falls on a weekend.
Before 2005, in Malta, a Monday public holiday was declared whenever a fixed-date public holiday fell on a weekend. But, following another Nationalist victory at the polls in 2003, the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act (Chapter 252 of the Laws of Malta) was amended so that "with effect from 1st January, 2005 when a National Holiday or a Public Holiday listed in the Schedule falls on a Saturday or on a Sunday, it shall not be deemed to be a public holiday for the purposes of entitling any person to an additional day of vacation leave" (2004-12-03 and 2005-01-15).
This legislation was contested repeatedly by the GWU (2005-09-20 and 2007-01-27), but to no avail (2007-10-21), despite a promise by the Malta Labour Party (2007-12-16) to restore day in lieu public holidays if elected in 2008, an election which they did not win.
In early January, the Nationalist Party leader, Lawrence Gonzi, was forced to call an election for March 9, 2013. Current polls show the opposition Labour Party slightly leading, but with over 30% of those being polled still undecided.
The next Malta public holidays that will fall on a weekend are Freedom Day on March 31, and the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul on June 29. Three additional non-working public holidays fall on a weekend in the last 4 months of 2013.
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