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Malta Day In Lieu Public Holidays Progress

Source: Malta Department of Information (Government of Malta)
Posted on Sunday, October 8, 2017


Malta's Finance Minister, Edward Scicluna, has announced that all workers Malta will get an extra day added to their vacation leave, beginning next year, but that no agreement has been reached yet with employers’ organizations as to how to implement the government's electoral promise to restore as day in lieu public holidays the public holidays which are lost when they fall on weekends.

Recall that, earlier this year (2017-05-07), as he was launching his re-election campaign, Malta Labour leader and Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, had once again promised that, should his party win a re-election, it would restore the day in lieu public holidays for Malta public holidays that fall on a weekend, canceled "without prior consultation" by the preceding PN government.

In Malta, before 2005, a Monday public holiday was declared whenever a fixed-date public holiday fell on a weekend. But, following a 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).

The amended legislation was contested repeatedly by the GWU (2005-09-20 and 2007-01-27), but to no avail (2007-10-21), and a couple of years later (2007-12-16), sensing a easy vote-getter, Malta's Labour Party promised that, if elected in the next general elections, they would restore the pre-2005 practice of declaring a Monday public holiday when a fixed-date public holiday fell on a weekend.

However, despite the electoral victory of Malta's Labour Party at the last general elections (2013-03-10), none of the public holidays contained in the subsequent list of national holidays and non-working public holidays in Malta (2015-01-07 and 2014-01-10) were moved to a Monday, leading to more calls to "reverse a temporary measure" (2015-10-15) from Malta's General Workers' Union (GWU) and counter calls not to "drag issues out of the past, that have been settled and concluded for more than ten years" from Malta's Chamber of Commerce (2016-08-29).


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