Vacation Leave



Entitlement -

With effect as from 1st January 2019, an employee working 40 hours per week is entitled to 208 hours of paid annual leave. This is calculated on the basis of a 40-hour working week, and an 8-hour working day. If the average normal hours (excluding overtime) calculated over a period of 17 weeks is below or exceeds 40 hours per week, the vacation leave entitlement in hours should be adjusted accordingly (see L.N. 247 of 2003 - Organisation of Working Time Regulations​). When an employee is in employment for less than 12 months, s/he shall be entitled to a proportionate amount of annual leave.

The law specifies that a minimum period equivalent to four weeks (160 hours) cannot be replaced by any allowance, except where the worker’s employment is terminated. Therefore in respect of the 160 hours that cannot be compensated for, the employee cannot claim payment. It is only possible to carry forward up to 50% of the annual leave entitlement to the following year if there is an agreement with the employer.


In agreement -

Vacation leave starts to accumulate as from commencement of employment. It can be availed of only in agreement between the employer and the employee. Once  leave  from  the  annual  leave  entitlement  of  the employee has been agreed to by the employer and the employee, such leave cannot be cancelled unilaterally but can only be cancelled if both the employer and the employee are in agreement. 

By mutual agreement with the employer, leave can be taken in hours. Otherwise, if there is no agreement between the employer and the employee, leave has to be availed of as a whole day.


Shut down -

As from the 1st of January 2019, unless otherwise agreed to in any applicable collective agreement, or in any agreement reached by the union and the employer/employer association, the  employer  may  only utilize up to the equivalent in hours of twelve working days from the annual  leave  entitlement for the purposes of any type of shutdown, including a temporary closure of whole or part of the premises by the employer for bridge holidays or any other short periods of shutdown. In any case, any type of shutdown, including a temporary closure of whole or part of the premises by the employer for bridge holidays, shall be communicated to all the employees by the end of January of each calendar year.


Accrual during maternity, sick, injury leave -

Annual leave continues to accrue in favour of an employee during the period when she is on maternity leave. Any  balance  of  annual  leave unavailed of by the end of the calendar year shall be automatically transferred to the next calendar year when it has not been possible for the employee to avail herself of such leave during the same year when the maternity leave commenced. 

When a public or national holiday falling on a day of work or on a weekly day of rest not being a Saturday or a Sunday falls within a period of maternity leave of any employee, such  employee  shall  be  entitled  to  the  equivalent  in  hours  of  an additional day of annual leave.  

Annual  leave  also  continues  to  accrue  in  favour  of  an employee during the period when he is on sick leave or injury leave. Any  balance  of  annual  leave unavailed of by the end of the calendar year shall be automatically transferred to the next calendar year when it has not been possible for the employee to avail himself of such leave during the same year when the sickness or injury leave commenced. 

Any period of pre-arranged leave coinciding with a period of maternity, sickness or injury leave shall be considered as not having been availed of but shall be availed of after the return to work or shall be carried on to the subsequent year if such leave could not be availed of during the same year when the maternity, sickness or injury leave commenced.


Forced leave -

The law regulates forced leave. Should an employee be made to avail himself of forced leave by his employer, the employer shall always provide a written statement justifying the forced leave, within a reasonable time frame before the forced leave starts to run. In such instances the utilization of such forced leave does not give rise to a civil debt in favour of the employer should the leave taken exceed the annual leave entitlement of the employee. 

However, any leave taken by an employee which has been requested by the employee himself, which is in excess of the annual leave
entitlement shall give rise to a civil debt in favour of the employer upon termination of the employee’s employment. 

If the employer refuses to grant the statutory vacation leave, the employee should lodge a claim with the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations for an evaluation of the case and possible court action to be taken against the employer. The Department will usually ask the court to decree that any unavailed of vacation leave should be compensated by the employer. However, there always exist the possibility for the employer to agree with the employee to carry forward up to 50% of the annual leave entitlement to the following year.
 
Upon termination from employment, an employee has the right to claim financial compensation for any balance of outstanding leave that is due.
​​​​

​​​​​​​​

CONTACT INFORMATION:

 Contact Name

Department for Industrial and Employment Relations 
121, Melita​​ Street,
Valletta - Malta 
VLT 1121​

 Telephone
(+356)21224245/6​​

 Email