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Discover everything you need to know about Malta

Hire in Malta at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Malta

GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
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Overview in Malta

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Malta, a densely populated island nation in the Mediterranean, has a rich history influenced by various rulers including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Knights Hospitaller, and was a British colony until its independence in 1964. It joined the EU in 2004. The economy is diverse, driven by sectors such as tourism, financial services, iGaming, and manufacturing. The workforce is highly educated, with a significant portion in the service sector. Malta's strategic location is a key economic asset, enhancing its roles in shipping and as a Mediterranean transshipment hub.

The Maltese culture values family and work-life balance, with a workplace environment that emphasizes personal relationships and direct communication. Organizational hierarchies in Malta respect age and experience but are less rigid than in more hierarchical cultures. The economy benefits from being an EU member and is bolstered by sectors like tourism, which has rebounded strongly post-pandemic, and financial services, which thrive due to favorable tax policies and regulatory frameworks.

Emerging sectors such as blockchain and medical tourism show potential for growth, reflecting Malta's adaptability and strategic initiatives to diversify its economic base. Malta's interconnected economic sectors demonstrate how growth in one area can stimulate demand across others, such as real estate and professional services.

Taxes in Malta

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  • Employer Tax Responsibilities in Malta: Employers in Malta are required to contribute to the social security system at a rate of 10% of the employee's gross salary, matching the employee's contribution. They also contribute 0.3% to the Maternity Fund and are responsible for paying an annual government-determined bonus.

  • Administration of Contributions: Employers must handle the deduction and remittance of both their contributions and the employees' contributions to the Inland Revenue Department, typically on a monthly basis.

  • Employee Tax Deductions: Employees in Malta are subject to income tax deducted by their employer under the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system, and social security contributions. Additional deductions may include expenses directly related to employment income and alimony payments.

  • VAT Responsibilities: Businesses in Malta must register for VAT if their annual taxable supplies exceed €35,000, with a standard VAT rate of 18%. Certain goods and services have reduced rates or are VAT-exempt. VAT returns are generally filed quarterly.

  • Tax Incentives and Benefits: Malta offers various tax incentives including Investment Aid Tax Credits and the Micro Invest Scheme. The country also has a favorable tax regime for corporate shareholders and a wide network of double taxation treaties to prevent double taxation on international income.

  • Special VAT Regimes and Industry-Specific Incentives: The Tour Operators Margin Scheme simplifies VAT for tour operators, and there are specific incentives for R&D, film, television, and the iGaming sector.

Leave in Malta

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  • Annual Leave: Full-time employees working a 40-hour week are entitled to 192 hours (four working weeks and four days) of paid annual leave. Up to 50% of this leave can be carried over to the next year with employer agreement.

  • Compensation for Unused Leave: At least 160 hours of leave must be taken annually; financial compensation for unused leave is only allowed upon employment termination.

  • Part-Time Employees: Vacation leave for part-time employees is calculated proportionally based on their working hours.

  • Public Holidays in Malta: Malta recognizes 14 annual public holidays, categorized into National Holidays (such as Freedom Day and Independence Day) and Religious Holidays (including New Year's Day and Christmas Day).

  • Sick Leave: Employees are eligible for paid sick leave after a probationary period, with the amount determined by their employment contract or collective agreements.

  • Injury Leave: Employees injured on the job are entitled to one year of paid injury leave, followed by one year at half-pay.

  • Maternity and Paternity Leave: Expectant mothers receive 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, while fathers are entitled to 10 working days of paid paternity leave.

  • Bereavement and Urgent Family Leave: Employees receive up to 3 days of paid leave for the death of close family members and 15 hours of paid leave per year for urgent family matters.

  • Other Types of Leave: Includes marriage leave, carers' leave, study leave, and foster care leave, with specific entitlements varying by employment contract.

Benefits in Malta

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Malta provides a robust employee benefits system, including mandatory and optional perks to enhance workers' financial security and well-being. Key mandatory benefits include:

  • Paid Leave: Employees are entitled to 28 days of annual leave, 10 days of sick leave, and paid leave on 14 public holidays.
  • Parental Leave: 18 weeks of maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave are provided.
  • Other Benefits: These include probationary periods, notice periods, severance pay, overtime pay, and social security contributions.

Optional benefits offered by many companies in Malta include:

  • Health and Wellness: Private health insurance and wellness programs.
  • Work-Life Balance: Flexible work arrangements and additional paid leave.
  • Financial and Professional Development: Performance bonuses, profit sharing, and training opportunities.
  • Lifestyle and Leisure: Company discounts and on-site amenities.

Healthcare in Malta operates on a two-tier system with public and private sectors. EU/EEA citizens and Maltese nationals have broad coverage under the National Health Service (NHS), while non-EU/EEA citizens need employer-provided insurance or private contributions to access NHS services.

Retirement planning in Malta includes a mandatory state pension scheme supplemented by voluntary private pension plans, offering tax benefits and various investment options to enhance retirement savings.

Workers Rights in Malta

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Malta's employment laws encompass a robust framework for the termination of employment, anti-discrimination measures, and workplace health and safety regulations.

Termination of Employment:

  • Lawful Grounds for Dismissal: Includes serious misconduct, redundancy, and underperformance, with specific procedures and severance pay for eligible employees.
  • Notice Requirements: Vary by length of employment and contractual terms, with specific guidelines for probationary periods and beyond.

Anti-Discrimination Laws:

  • Key Legislation: Includes the Constitution of Malta, Equality for Men and Women Act, and the Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics Act.
  • Protected Characteristics: Cover a wide range including sex, gender identity, race, age, and disability.
  • Redress Mechanisms: Complaints can be filed with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, Industrial Tribunal, or Civil Courts.
  • Employer Responsibilities: Include developing non-discrimination policies, ensuring bias-free hiring, and providing reasonable accommodations.

Workplace Health and Safety:

  • Regulations: Governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, focusing on risk assessments, safe work practices, and employee training.
  • Employer Obligations: Include providing a safe work environment, necessary personal protective equipment, and maintaining regular safety training.
  • Employee Rights: Employees are entitled to a safe workplace, necessary safety information and training, and the right to refuse unsafe work.
  • Enforcement: The Occupational Health and Safety Authority oversees compliance, conducts inspections, and enforces regulations.

These comprehensive laws and regulations ensure that employees in Malta are treated fairly, work in safe conditions, and have mechanisms to address grievances related to employment and discrimination.

Agreements in Malta

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Malta's employment law offers various contractual frameworks to accommodate the needs of employers and employees, including full-time, part-time, and temporary agency work contracts. The most prevalent are indefinite contracts, which have no set end date, and fixed-term contracts, which are limited to a maximum of four years and can automatically convert to indefinite contracts under certain conditions. Employment agreements should clearly outline core details such as job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, working hours, and leave entitlements. Termination conditions must also be specified, adhering to legal requirements.

The probationary period is a crucial initial phase, typically six months for indefinite contracts, allowing both parties to assess suitability. For specific high-paying positions, this period can extend up to one year. During probation, employment can be terminated with a week's notice after the first month.

Confidentiality and non-compete clauses are important for protecting sensitive business information and maintaining fair competition. These clauses must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic reach to be enforceable under Maltese law. Employers are advised to consult legal professionals to ensure their contracts comply with local employment laws and best practices.

Remote Work in Malta

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Malta has embraced remote work, adapting its legal and technological frameworks to support this modern work practice. The country's legislation, including the Employment Conditions Act, provides rights such as the "right to disconnect" and guidelines for public sector remote work. Technological infrastructure is crucial, requiring reliable internet, secure communication platforms, and remote access tools. Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment, providing necessary equipment, and managing communication and collaboration effectively.

Additionally, Malta supports flexible work arrangements like part-time work, flexitime, and job sharing, although specific laws for flexitime and job sharing are not in place. The Employment Conditions Regulations (ECR), 2007, outlines standards for part-time work, including benefits proportional to those of full-time employees.

Regarding data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates employers to protect employee data, with employees having rights to access and control their personal information. Best practices for securing data in remote work include using secure devices, VPNs, role-based access controls, and regular data security training.

Working Hours in Malta

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Summary of Malta's Employment Regulations on Working Hours and Overtime

  • Standard Working Week: Malta's Employment Act sets the standard working week at 40 hours for full-time employees.
  • Maximum Working Hours: According to the Organisation of Working Time Regulations, the average working time cannot exceed 48 hours per week over a 17-week period, unless with written employee consent.
  • Overtime: Employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour week. The rate is one and a half times the normal rate unless a specific Wage Regulation Order (WRO) applies.
  • Rest Periods: Employees must receive a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of daily rest and a 24-hour uninterrupted weekly rest period. Work periods over six hours require a rest break of at least 20 minutes.
  • Night and Weekend Work: Night workers, defined as those working significant hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., must not exceed an average of eight hours of work within a 24-hour period over 17 weeks. Weekend work regulations may be specified by industry-specific WROs.
  • Health Assessments: Night workers are required to undergo pre-employment health assessments and regular check-ups thereafter.

These regulations aim to balance work commitments with employee health and well-being, ensuring fair compensation and adequate rest.

Salary in Malta

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Understanding competitive salaries in Malta is essential for attracting and retaining talent. Factors influencing salary competitiveness include industry, job role, experience, qualifications, and location. Research methods such as salary surveys, job boards, and benchmarking tools help determine appropriate pay scales.

The national minimum wage in Malta is set annually and varies by age, with specific rates for adults, 17-year-olds, and those under 17. Sector-specific minimum wages may also apply, set through Wage Regulation Orders.

Additional financial benefits for Maltese employees include statutory bonuses paid bi-annually, statutory weekly allowances, and various employer-specific benefits like health insurance, pension contributions, and performance bonuses. Payroll practices in Malta emphasize frequency and transparency, with employers providing detailed payslips and maintaining clear payment schedules.

Termination in Malta

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In Malta, the Employment Relations Act governs the notice periods required for employment termination, which vary based on the duration of an employee's service. For instance, employees with less than a month of service require no notice, while those with more than four years require eight weeks' notice. During probation, no notice is needed if employment lasts less than a month, but a one-week notice is required if the duration exceeds a month.

Exceptions to these notice periods include immediate termination for serious misconduct and the natural conclusion of fixed-term contracts without a notice, unless during probation where a one-week notice may apply if service exceeds one month. Severance pay is generally not mandatory, except under specific conditions such as early termination of fixed-term contracts or redundancy due to employer insolvency, where employees may claim from the Wage Guarantee Fund.

For indefinite contracts, termination can occur at will but must adhere to notice periods unless there is serious misconduct. Fixed-term contracts naturally end on their expiry date, but if terminated early, employers must pay half the wages for the remaining period. Unfair dismissal claims can be addressed by the Industrial Tribunal, which may offer remedies like reinstatement or compensation. Formal termination letters and full payment of all dues upon termination are recommended best practices.

Freelancing in Malta

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In Malta, the classification between employees and independent contractors is crucial, affecting rights, benefits, and tax duties. Employees operate under employer control, are integrated into the company, and depend economically on their employer. Independent contractors manage their work autonomously, maintain independence from company structures, and handle their own business finances.

Contract options for independent contractors include definite contracts for fixed terms and service agreements for ongoing work. Negotiations in Malta emphasize patience and mutual benefits, with a preference for written contracts to avoid misunderstandings.

Key industries for independent contractors in Malta include IT, tourism, and professional services. Intellectual property rights are generally retained by the creator unless otherwise specified in a contract, and moral rights remain with the freelancer.

Freelancers must register for taxes if earning over €9,000 annually, file tax returns, and may need to make provisional tax payments. They can opt into Malta's social security for benefits and should consider insurance options like health, professional indemnity, and public liability insurance to mitigate potential risks.

Health & Safety in Malta

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The Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act (Chapter 424 of the Laws of Malta) is the primary legislation governing workplace health and safety in Malta. It sets out responsibilities for both employers and employees to ensure a safe working environment.

Employer Responsibilities:

  • General Duties: Ensure the health, safety, and welfare of employees by providing safe workplaces, equipment, and systems of work.
  • Risk Assessments: Identify hazards, conduct risk assessments, and implement control measures.
  • Consultation and Cooperation: Consult with employees on health and safety matters.
  • Provision of Information and Training: Provide adequate health and safety training and information.

Employee Responsibilities:

  • Taking Reasonable Care: Employees must take care of their own health and safety and that of others.
  • Cooperating with Employers: Comply with health and safety requirements.
  • Using Equipment and PPE Correctly: Properly use machinery, equipment, and safety devices provided.

Specific Regulations:

  • Various subsidiary legislative instruments address specific workplace health and safety aspects, including regulations for construction, ionizing radiation, and major accident hazards.

Key Aspects of Malta's OHS Approach:

  • Risk Assessment: A fundamental aspect, requiring employers to identify and assess workplace hazards.
  • Prevention and Control Measures: Follows a hierarchy of controls from elimination to personal protective equipment.
  • Consultation and Worker Participation: Involvement of employees in decision-making processes.
  • Training and Information: Provision of job-specific OHS training and clear safety information.
  • Emergency Planning and Preparedness: Requires emergency plans and regular drills.

Role of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA):

  • OHSA enforces compliance through workplace inspections, can issue notices for improvements, and provides resources and support for employers and workers.

Workplace Inspections:

  • Inspections are conducted without prior notice, focusing on compliance, risk assessments, and known hazards. Frequency depends on the risk level of the workplace.

Actions Following Inspections:

  • Actions can range from verbal advice to issuing legal notices for compliance and, in severe cases, prosecution.

Workplace Accident Reporting and Investigation:

  • Employers must report accidents, and the OHSA investigates serious incidents to identify causes and recommend preventive measures.

Compensation Claims:

  • The social security system provides benefits for workplace injuries, and employees can file civil lawsuits in cases of employer negligence.

Dispute Resolution in Malta

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Malta's labor dispute resolution and compliance mechanisms are structured around the Industrial Tribunal and the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER). The Industrial Tribunal primarily handles individual and some collective labor disputes, offering conciliation services and formal hearings, with decisions subject to appeal on points of law. Arbitration is another avenue, used voluntarily for resolving labor disputes, particularly collective ones, with arbitrators issuing binding decisions.

Key legal frameworks include the Employment and Industrial Relations Act, the Constitution of Malta, and the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure, which guide labor standards enforcement and dispute resolution. The DIER conducts various types of labor inspections, such as scheduled, complaint-triggered, targeted, and follow-up inspections, to ensure compliance with labor laws. Non-compliance can lead to warnings, fines, prosecution, or public disclosure of the offending company's name.

Whistleblower protections in Malta are outlined in the Protection of the Whistleblower Act (2013), which safeguards individuals reporting labor violations in good faith, although practical enforcement challenges exist. Enhancements to whistleblower protections could include awareness campaigns and secure reporting mechanisms.

Malta has ratified several core International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions, reflecting its commitment to international labor standards. These conventions influence Malta's domestic legislation, ensuring protections against forced labor, child labor, discrimination, and supporting the right to organize and collective bargaining. Malta's ongoing efforts focus on aligning its laws and practices with ILO and EU standards, addressing gaps, and building stakeholder capacity to uphold labor rights.

Cultural Considerations in Malta

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  • Communication Styles in Malta: Maltese communication is influenced by British and Mediterranean cultures, blending directness and indirectness based on the relationship and situation. Formality is common in initial business interactions, using titles and polite greetings, with a shift to casualness as relationships develop. Non-verbal cues like expressive body language and eye contact are significant, but cultural interpretations must be considered.

  • Business Practices and Negotiation: Business meetings in Malta often start with social conversation and can be lengthy. Decision-making is centralized, though input from team members is valued. Negotiations focus on building relationships and trust, using a mix of direct and respectful communication. Facts and logical arguments are persuasive in negotiations.

  • Cultural Norms and Structures: Politeness and maintaining professional demeanor are crucial. Maltese businesses typically have mid-range hierarchical structures, balancing authority with employee participation. Leadership is authoritative but includes justification to foster understanding. Hofstede's Power Distance index and contingency theory help explain the effectiveness of these structures.

  • Statutory Holidays and Impact on Business: Key public holidays like New Year's Day, Feast of St. Joseph, Freedom Day, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas Day significantly affect business operations, with most businesses closing. Village feasts and Carnival can also alter business hours. Awareness of these holidays is essential for planning business activities in Malta.

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