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Malta In Lieu Public Holidays Return Likely

Source: The Times of Malta (Valletta)
Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013
Most recent follow-up news item: December 30, 2021

The Secretary-General of Malta's General Workers' Union (GWU), Tony Zarb, has stated that he expects the new Labour government to reverse the 2005 legislation that stopped 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 polled being still undecided.

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