Domestic Service

Domestic Service is regulated by the Subsidiary Legislation 452.40​ of the Laws of Malta entitled the Domestic Service Wages Council Wage Regulation Order. 
 
Who is considered a Domestic Service Worker?
The Wage Regulation Order applies to employees employed in private households engaged in domestic duties, such as servants, maids, housekeepers, cooks, butlers, valets, handymen, cleaners, charwomen, washerwomen, baby-sitters, nursemaids, and other persons employed in related work, including chauffeurs, gardeners and similar occupations connected with the household.
(Private households includes charitable institutions which provide residential care, monasteries and convents but excludes any hospital, clinic, nursing home, institute of medico-surgical treatment, maternity home or hydropathic establishment, home for aged persons or schools run by any such households).
Without prejudice to other rights emanating from other Maltese employment law, in terms of the above mentioned Wage Regulation Order, Domestic Servants are categorised into 6 groups having particular conditions applying to them:
·     Group 1: Workers engaged by the month who sleep in their employer’s house on not less than   seventeen nights in any month;
·   Group 2: Workers engaged by the month who sleep in their employer’s house on less     than seventeen nights a month or not at all;
·        Group 3: Workers engaged by the week who sleep in their employer’s house on not less than four   nights in any week;
·     Group 4: Workers engaged by the week who sleep in their employer’s house on less than four   nights a week or not at all;
·         Group 5: Workers who are engaged by the day;
·         Group 6: Workers who are engaged by the hour.
 
What is the Minimum Remuneration and Payment for Overtime?
 
     GROUP 1
    GROUP 2
      GROUP 3
     GROUP 4
     GROUP 5
     GROUP 6
     Minimum Renumeration
    / month
            €782.94
             /month
     €184.57
    /week
    €182.82
  /week
   €30.47
   /day
    €4.57
      /hour[EB1] 
     Hours of Work *
     Not more than forty hours, this being exclusive of breaks for meals and rest
 
     Overtime
       Time and a Half for
·         all hours in excess of 8 hours in normal days*
·         all hours worked over 40 hours
 
     Customary Holidays
Double pay for one day’s work and payment at double time for all work over 8 hours
     Weekly Day of Rest
         Payment at double-time for all time worked
     Statutory Bonus
         Amount of €135.10 payable every 6 months (End of June and 15th-23rd December)
     Weekly Allowance
         Amount of €121.16 payable every 6 months (End of March and End of September)
      *When Not Sleeping at Employer's house
 
What rest periods is the Domestic Service Worker entitled to?
Employees shall be entitled to
·       a minimum daily rest period of eleven consecutive hours per 24-hour period during
      which the worker performs work for his employer
·       A rest break when the working day is longer than six hours. The rest break should be at least of three hours in the aggregate in every day, which are fixed by the employer after consultation with the employee on those days when they sleep in their employer’s house,
·     in any one day, intervals of not less, in the aggregate, than forty-five minutes for meals and rest if they do not sleep in their employer’s house.
·     a minimum uninterrupted weekly rest period of twenty-four hours, in addition to the daily rest period, mentioned above, for each seven-day period during which the worker works for the employer
·   the national and public holidays with full pay, and to vacation leave of at least the equivalent in hours of four working weeks and four working days or, if employed for less than twelve months during any calendar year, employees shall be entitled to such part of the said vacation leave as is in proportion to the number of months in employment.
 
How much sick leave is a Domestic Service Worker entitled to?
·       After completing six months of continuous service, a whole-time employees is entitled to, in every calendar year, the equivalent in hours of fourteen days sick leave on full pay, less an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act, and part-time employees shall have a pro rata entitlement to sick leave in hours on full pay.
 
·      The first three days of any claim for sick leave shall be paid in full by the employer however a medical certificate covering the period of absence has to be given to the employer on the day of return to work or, if such period of absence is longer than seven days, within seven days of the onset of sick leave absence.
 
·      Employees in receipt of a social security pension in respect of retirement or widowhood shall, for the purpose of calculating the sick leave pay due, be deemed to have received an amount equal to the sum set for sickness benefit entitlement at the rate established under the Social Security Act.
 
Is a Domestic Service Worker entitled to any other leave?
·         Full time employees shall be entitled to
·         two days paid leave on the occasion of the death of the wife or husband, the mother or         father, the daughter or son, and the sister or brother.
·          three working days leave on full pay on the occasion of their marriage.
·          all the necessary time off on full pay to enable them to attend to jury service.
·      any other leave entitlement in terms of other Maltese employment law, e.g. maternity,        parental, urgent family leave.
·           two days leave with pay on the occasion of the birth of a child to his lawful wife.
·           Up to one year injury leave.
·          Part-time workers are entitled to all leave mentioned on a pro-rata basis to be calculated on    the average weekly hours of work.
 
 
Is a Domestic Service Worker entitled to meals?
Yes. The law also provides for Meals.
·      Workers in Groups 1 to 4 are entitled to all meals
o     when they sleep in their employer’s house, and
o  on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house they shall be entitled to all meals except supper. (This is also applicable to workers in Group 5).
 
·      Workers in Group 6 are entitled to coffee or tea after working for not less than two hours and shall be further entitled to lunch or supper, as the case may be, after working in the aggregate for not less than five hours.
 
·    Workers in Groups 1 to 5 on those days when they do not sleep in their employer’s house, where applicable, shall be entitled to supper when their hours of work in excess of eight in any day exceed three:
 
 
Are deductions from wages for meals allowed?
 
Yes, as follows:
 
·  workers in Groups 1 and 2 shall have €48.36 deducted monthly from their minimum remuneration,
·  workers in Groups 3 and 4 shall have €11.16 deducted weekly from their minimum remuneration, and
·   workers in Group 5 shall have one euro eighty-six cents €1.86 deducted daily from their minimum remuneration, as compensation for meals to which they shall be entitled as aforesaid:
·  workers in Group 6 shall have no deduction from their minimum remuneration as compensation for meals to which they may be entitled as long as they are not entitled to a day’s pay in which case they shall have €1.61 deducted from their minimum remuneration.
 
Are other deductions allowed?
 
      No other deductions apart from National Insurance contributions and Tax deductions as                  applicable are allowed unless the employer makes a request to the Director.  Any written approval by the Director has to be communicated by the employer to the employee.
 
      Naturally, no deductions shall be made if workers do not avail themselves of their right to any meals.
 
What is the probation period in employment?
 
  The first six months of any employment under a contract of service shall be   probationary employment unless otherwise agreed by both parties for a shorter probation period.
 
   During the probationary period: the employment may be terminated at will by either party without assigning any reason, provided that a week’s notice of the termination of employment shall be given to the other party in the case of an employee who has been in the employment of the same employer continuously for more than one month
 
What are the notice/termination obligations of a contract of service?
 
     Definite/ fixed-term contracts: The conditions of employment in a fixed term contract shall not be less favourable than those which would have been applicable had the same contract of employment at the same place of work been for an indefinite time, unless different treatment is justified on objective grounds. Further if an employee, after such contract has expired, is retained by his employer such employee shall be deemed to be retained on an indefinite period contract if the said employee is not given a new contract of service within the first twelve days following the expiry of the previous contract. If the fixed-term contract is terminated by either party before the time definitely specified by the contract of service such terminating party shall pay to the other a sum equal to one-half of the full wages to which the employee would have become entitled if he had continued in the service for the remainder of the time so specifically agreed upon.
 
    Indefinite contracts: Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, notice of the termination of employment proposed either by the employer or by the employee under a contract of service for an indefinite time, shall be of the following respective duration, if the employee has been in the employment of the same employer continuously -provided that notice of termination of employment may not be given during maternity leave or during the period of incapacity for work.

If the employee worked:
(a) for more than one month but not more than six months ..................... one week;
(b) for more than six months but not more than two years ....................... two weeks;
(c) for more than two years but not more than four years ......................... four weeks;
(d) for more than four years but not more than seven years ..................... eight weeks;
(e) for more than seven years, an additional 1 week for every subsequent year of service or part thereof up to a maximum of twelve weeks;
(f) or such longer periods as may be agreed by the employer and employee in the case of technical, administrative, executive or managerial posts:
 
      During the period of notice the employee shall have the option either of continuing to perform work  until the period of notice expires or, at any time during the currency of the period of notice, of requiring the employer to pay him a sum equal to half the wages that would be payable in respect of the unexpired period of notice. If the employer does not allow the employee to continue to perform work until the period of notice expires he shall pay the employee a sum equal to the wages that would have been payable in respect of the unexpired period of notice.
 
    During the probationary period the employment may be terminated at will by either party without assigning any reason, provided that a week’s notice of the termination of employment shall be given to the other party in the case of an employee who has been in the employment of the same employer continuously for more than one month.

 [EB1]Link to be inserted referring to WRO

CONTACT INFORMATION:

 Contact Name

Department for Industrial and Employment Relations 
121, Melita​​ Street,
Valletta - Malta 
VLT 1121​
 Telephone
(+356)21224245/6​​

 Email