Malta Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Malta.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Employees in Malta working 40 hours per week are entitled to 192 hours of vacation leave per year (four weeks and 32 hours).

Employees working more or less than 40 hours per week get a vacation leave entitlement proportional to their working hours.

Vacation time begins accruing as soon

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

Employees are instructed to use their vacation leave during the calendar year it is due. Government documentation states that only 50% of an employee’s vacation allotment can be carried forward, as long as there is an agreement with the employer.

There is a minimum allotment of 160 hours (four weeks) which cannot be replaced by a cash payment. After that, employee and employer can agree to convert vacation leave to cash.

When an employee leaves their job, however, the balance of any unused leave will be paid out.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Malta

Employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks paid sick leave per year.

Different industries and sectors have their own Wage Regulation Orders (WRO) that may cover sick leave entitlement for that sector. If the sector does not have a WRO, sick leave defaults to two weeks per year.

Injury Leave

If an employee is injured while on duty, they are entitled to a maximum of one year injury leave, in which they continue to receive their full pay.

Malta Public Holidays

The following are public holidays in Malta:

Holiday Pay

For all public holidays, employees receive a paid day off.

If a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, employees receive an extra day off in their yearly vacation allowance to compensate.

Parental Leave in Malta (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 18 weeks of maternity leave. For the first 14 weeks, the employee’s full wages are to be paid by the employer. For the other four weeks, the employee can apply for a Maternity Leave Benefit from the government.

The employee is obliged to take four weeks before birth and six weeks after. The rest can be taken either pre or post-birth.

Parental Leave

If an employee has been working for their employer for at least 12 months, they have the right to unpaid leave following the birth, adoption, fostering or legal custody of their child. The employee is entitled to take up to four months unpaid leave, up until the child turns eight years old.

Birth Leave

An employee is entitled to one day of paid leave for the birth of a child to his wife, unless their sector’s WRO entitles them to a higher amount.

Adoption Leave

When adopting a child, parents are entitled to a total of 18 weeks’ adoption leave, with 14 weeks paid by their employer, and the additional four potentially paid by social security (the same as maternity leave).

This entitlement is shared between both parents, and can be split between them as they wish.

IVF Leave

Prospective parents are entitled to a total of 100 hours paid leave for undergoing IVF treatments in Malta or abroad. This is to be split between the two parents, with 60% going to the parent undergoing treatment, and 40% to the other parent.

Bereavement Leave in Malta

When an employee’s spouse, parent, son, daughter, brother or sister dies, they are entitled to a minimum of one day of paid bereavement leave, which may be more depending on their sector’s WRO.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Urgent Family Leave

Employees can take a total of 15 hours per year paid leave for urgent family reasons – however, these hours are to be taken from their annual leave entitlement.

Marriage Leave

Employees are entitled to paid marriage leave when they are getting married. This varies depending on the sector’s WRO, and if not covered by a WRO, defaults to two days of PTO.

Jury Service Leave

If employees are called to jury service, they are entitled to time off work without loss of wages (this time off cannot be deducted from the employee’s vacation allowance).

Official Resources

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