Source:Malta Department of Information (Government of Malta)
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Details are starting to emerge, as to the manner in which public holidays falling on a weekend will be handled in Malta, following the upcoming amendments to the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act (Chapter 252 of the Laws of Malta). Apparently, though amendments to the act are yet to be published, it appears that the current addition of eight hours of vacation leave per year will be replaced by a system where paid vacation leave entitlement would fluctuate each calendar year according to the number of lost public holidays falling on weekends.
Concretely, this means that, in 2021, under the previous Organisation of Working Regulations (SL452.87), Malta employees would have been entitled to 28 days, but it has been confirmed that the leave entitlement for 2021 will remain 27 days, due to the number of lost Malta public holidays in 2021 (2021-01-18), the same number as would have been the case under the Organisation of Working Regulations (SL452.87).
This is due to the fact that the minimum vacation leave entitlement stands at 24 days, but the number of annual vacation days was gradually increased to 27 over past years.
According to the current understanding of the planned amendments to the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act, and last month's statement by Malta's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela (2020-12-21), in 2022 the entitlement will be 28 days, while in 2023 the entitlement will go down to 26 days.
Before 2005, a Monday public holiday was declared in Malta whenever a fixed-date public holiday fell on a weekend.
Malta's Nationalist party, following their victory at the polls in 2003, amended the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act (Chapter 252 of the Laws of Malta) 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).
Malta's Labour Party promised that, if elected in the next general elections, they would restore Monday public holiday when a fixed-date public holiday fell on a weekend. But despite their victory in the 2013 general election (2013-03-10), the Labour Party did not implement the promised change in the subsequent list of public holidays in Malta (2015-01-07 and 2014-01-10).
After the 2017 elections (2017-10-08), Malta's Finance Minister, Edward Scicluna, did announce that all workers Malta would get an extra day added to their vacation leave, beginning in 2018, following his party's electoral promise to restore as day in lieu public holidays the public holidays which are lost when they fall on weekends (2017-05-07). This was implemented in the Organisation of Working Regulations (SL452.87), as discussed above.
Links and References
Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Malta Day In Lieu Public Holidays Update" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.