The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Amendment ensures that public holidays that fall on weekends to be added to vacation leave

Monday, 21 December 2020, 14:41 Last update: about 30 days ago

The Cabinet has approved the amendment to the National Holidays and Other Public Holidays Act (Cap 252) which will count national or public holidays that fall on weekends as additional vacation leave days, the OPM said in a statement.

This is an amendment that was promised during the announcement of the budget for 2021.

The amendment was tabled by the Minister in the Office of Prime Minister Carmelo Abela who, in the statement, said the government will be delivering on another electoral promise in full and will be reversing what a Nationalist government had done in 2005.

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Abela explained that in 2005, the PN government made an amendment that removed the right for national or public holidays to be added as another day of vacation leave when they fall on a Saturday or Sunday.

“With this amendment, which must also be passed by Parliament, any national holiday or public holiday that coincides on Saturday or Sunday, will be added to leave. This means that from 2021 workers will take every day as a national holiday or a public holiday.”

Abela said that this government will be giving back what others have denied from other showing that the government believes in the need for a work-life balance. 

"This is a Government that believes in the valuable and fair contribution that every worker has to make in the workplace but at the same time that the same workers must have time for them and their family. This amendment is another example of the extent to which this Government carries out what it promises.”

The Department for Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) website indicates tha in 2021, an employee with a 40-hour working week is entitled to 216 hours of paid annual leave (192 hours basic leave entitlement + 24 hours in lieu of the 3 Public Holidays that fall on weekends.)
In 2022, an employee with a 40-hour working week is entitled to 224 hours of paid annual leave (in lieu of the 4 Public Holidays that fall on weekends) while in 2023 they are entitled to 208 hours of paid annual leave (in lieu of the 2 Public Holidays that fall on weekends.)

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