The Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers Regulations, 2022
Deloitte Malta Tax Alert
03 August 2022
By virtue of Legal Notice 201 of 2022, published on the 12 July 2022, Malta has introduced the Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers Regulations into Maltese Law, effectively transposing Directive (EU) 2019/1158, which has come into force as of 2 August 2022 through Subsidiary Legislation 452.125 of the Laws of Malta.
This legal notice aims to achieve equality between genders with respect to employment opportunities and fair treatment, by introducing the concepts of paternity leave, carers’ leave and flexible working arrangements in Maltese labour law, and by amending parental leave benefits accordingly.
By virtue of this legal notice, fathers or equivalent second parents as recognised by national law, shall be entitled to 10 working days of paid leave, on the occasion of the birth or adoption of one’s child. This right shall be granted to eligible workers irrespective of the period of employment or service, marital or family status.
Parental leave shall be granted to every worker, per child born, adopted or fostered, for a period of four months, of which two months shall now be paid at the same rate as established for the sickness benefit entitlement under the Social Security Act. Such payment shall be established as follows:
(i) 50% of entitlement shall be paid where the child (or children) for whose parental leave was granted has/have not yet attained the age of 4 years.
(ii) 25% of entitlement shall be paid where the child (or children) for whose parental leave was granted is/are between 4 and 6 years old.
(iii) 25% of entitlement shall be paid where the child (or children) for whose parental leave was granted is/are between 6 and 8 years old.
Such parental leave shall be availed of in established periods of at least 2 weeks, and such requests shall be made in writing, giving a minimum period of 2 weeks’ notice.
The previous provisions in Maltese legislation, regulating parental leave, namely Subsidiary Legislation 452.178, Parental Leave Entitlement Regulations, have been repealed.
Legal Notice 201 of 2022 introduces the concept of carers’ leave, granting every worker 5 days of unpaid leave to attend to the needs of persons, who also live within the same household, suffering from illness and are in need of support and care. Workers would need to provide proof of such illness and requiring support.
Flexible working arrangements
Workers with children up to 8 years of age, or carers, have a right to request flexible working arrangements, which may still be limited in duration and may be requested in the form of remote working, reduced hours, flexitime or other means, taking into account the needs of both employer and worker.
The legal notice also provides workers with a right to request to return prematurely to the original working arrangements and pattern, before the end of the agreed period, where a change in circumstances is justified.
It is to be noted that at the end of the respective period of absence allowed by Legal Notice 201 of 2022, irrespective of whether such absence is for paternal, parental, carers’ leave or flexible working arrangements, workers have the right to return to their original patterns and working arrangements or equivalent posts and similar conditions, and no less favourable to them, and to any benefit accruing during such absence, which they would have been entitled to, had such leave not been taken.
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