Maternity Leave Trust Fund


1.       What is the reason for the establishment of the Maternity Leave Trust Fund?  

Prior to the introduction of this measure in July 2015, employers that employ women had to pay the wages of their pregnant employees during their maternity leave. This could have led to discrimination against women since there could have been cases where employers preferred to employ men rather that women so as not to incur wage costs covering the fourteen weeks of maternity leave. With the establishment of the Maternity Leave Trust Fund, every employer is paying a minimum contribution for every employee irrespective of the sex. This seeks to do away with any disincentive leading employers to employ a man instead of a woman. The criteria of choosing an employee is now solely based on the individual skills of the candidate. The Trust Fund is also used to compensate for adoption leave in terms of the Adoption Leave National Standard Order.

2.       Did this reform incur any extra payment in the contribution by the employee?

This is not the case. No employee pays any contribution for this system.

3.       How does the employer effect the payment for this system?

The Tenth Schedule of the Social Security Act determines the contribution due by each employer for each of his/her employees. This contribution goes into a special fund, which eventually is used to reimburse employers paying employees on maternity leave. In order to ensure that this contribution is aimed for this objective, a new line features in the monthly return form that employers send to the Inland Revenue Department. This indicates the amount that the employer has paid for this special fund.

4.       Who controls payments of this fund?

In order to have absolute transparency, the Board of the fund is made up of three members representing the employers and one member representing the Unions. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Finance and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for Industrial Relations are ex-officio members. The Board ensures that employers pay their respective contribution and that from time to time revise the contribution rate as necessary.

5.       What is the rate of contribution?

When this measure has been introduced, the Ministry of Finance had made an in depth analysis of the pregnancy rate and the number of women applying for maternity leave; the fertility rate; the wages and salaries that were being paid to women employees benefitting from this leave and the total amount of employees that include both men and women. This exercise was carried out among private sector employees only. From this analysis, it was established that the contribution rate had to be that of zero point three per cent (0.3%) of the basic salary. This contribution rate may be revised.

6.       What if an employer does not pay his/her respective contribution?

While employers are bound to pay those who apply for maternity leave, no reimbursement is paid if it transpires that pay contributions were in actual fact not paid. Moreover, employers are subject to penalties and fines under the provision of the Social Security Act.

7.       Does this mean that the private sector is paying for those public sector individuals applying for maternity leave?

This fund is solely used to sustain the system for private sector employees ONLY. Government has continued to pay all the necessary contributions for those women who apply for maternity leave. Furthermore, Government has continued to pay for those weeks leave that a woman is entitled over and above the fourteen weeks mentioned above. This payment is made to all employees irrespective whether women are public or private sector employees. 

8.       Is this contribution paid for part-time employees whose social security contribution is not incurred in view of their being in another full-time employment?

Yes. The Employment and Industrial Relations Act and the Part Time Employees Regulations highlight the right that part-time employees have their maternity leave paid on a pro-rata basis. This means that employers can apply for a reimbursement for this payment once the corresponding contribution is paid. 

9.       Who may provide further information how to lodge a claim?

Please forward any queries, clearly labelled as “maternity leave trust” to this email address: maternitytrustfund@gov.mt.

Guidelines to Employers for filling in the Maternity Leave Trust Claim Online Form

1.  Click here to access Maternity Leave Trust Fund Claim Form.

2. You will be directed to Maternity/Adoption Leave Trust Claim.

3. Scroll down to the end of the page and you fill find Apply.

4. Users will have to enter a valid e-ID account credentials in order to access the form.

Employers are also advised that for application forms to be processed by the Social Security Department, the following documentation must be attached to the application form:

• A copy of 3 FS5 receipts issued by the Inland Revenue Department, that is one receipt for each trimester of the employee’s pregnancy indicating the payment of the maternity leave contributions

• A Copy of Pay Slips for gross basic wage/salary paid by the employer to the employee during the fourteen-week period of maternity leave

• A Copy of the Jobsplus(formerly known as the ETC)’s list of the company’s employee’s

• The employee’s FS3 (if the employee who took maternity leave was in the company’s employment during the previous year)

For assistance in filling in the online form, employers may call on tel: 22957742 (later tel: 23975119).


CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

 Telephone
(+356)21224245/6

 Email