I’m starting a new job. What do I need to know?
Once you accept a job offer, you enter into what is called a Contract of Service. This is an agreement where you agree to work and get paid for it.
You can either sign a contract or tell the employer you have accepted the job. This is called a Verbal Agreement and, if you make such an agreement, you’ll need to present a letter with certain information about you and your job, like when you’re starting work, how long you’ll be working for and how much you’ll be paid. If you click here you’ll find more information about starting a new job and even a template for that Verbal Agreement you may need to write.
Full-time and part-time in Malta… How does that work?
Employers can choose to employ you in different employment types. This depends on how much work they need done or how long they need to employ you for.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of employment:
Full-time permanent work: this is regular and ongoing work of normally 40 hours a week. You’re entitled to benefits like paid holiday and sick leave.
Part-time permanent work: this is regular and ongoing work that involves less hours than full-time work. You normally work on set days for a set number of hours. You’re still entitled to benefits like holiday and sick leave on a pro rata basis. The advantage of part-time work is that you are more flexible to do other jobs or take care of your family or study.
Casual work: this is ongoing work where the hours are irregular and you are paid by the hour. If you’re a Casual Workers you work when you’re needed; if you don’t work you don’t get paid. Casual work is good because it lets you be flexible and work other jobs, though it is not always easy to find such work and you may find it difficult to secure jobs.
Self-employed: this means you work for yourself so you are in charge of your hours and how much work you do. Many business people and trades people are self-employed. If you’re self-employed you get certain tax benefits.
Fixed term employment: this is used for single projects or if you’re replacing someone on leave, or your services are required for a limited period of time.
Commission-based employment: you’re paid based on reaching sales targets. A commission is usually a percentage of what you’ve sold. You’ll likely still receive a base pay but you also get more money depending on how much you have sold.
Apprenticeships and traineeships: are fixed term agreements (usually three to five years) where you learn a new trade like carpentry or plumbing (as an apprentice) or a non-trade job, like secretarial work (as a trainee). Special rates of pay and other entitlements apply according to the apprenticeship scheme.
Probationary employment: when you start full or part-time work you always have a probation period which is usually up to six months. During this time employers assess whether you are capable of doing the job well. Following this, your employment becomes permanent, part-time or full-time, as the case may be.
Piece work: this means you are paid for a certain number of items, say for six crates of tools or one tonne of soil.
Voluntary work: this is unpaid service that may be given to a licensed voluntary organisation. You can help at an orphanage or as a clown doctor at hospital, for example. Voluntary work is very rewarding and you’re helping others while learning new skills.
How much am I going to earn?
Your employer decides how much to pay you. You can agree to this or not. In Malta you are protected by a minimum wage so there is a limit as to how little you can be paid, depending on what kind of employment you are in and how old you are.
To find out the exact rates for minimum wages, click here.
Income Tax and Social Security Contributions
Can I take a break from work?
Yes you can. If you work 40 hours a week you are allowed 192 hours of paid leave every year. Some employers will let you take a number of hours off while with others you may have to take the whole day off. If you don’t use up all of your leave you may be allowed to save up to 50% of it for the following years, but you will have to speak to your employer about this.
You’ll find more detailed information about taking leave here.
How many hours do I need to work?
It depends on what kind of job you’ve got. Normally you shouldn’t work more than an average of 48 hours a week. Your employer may ask you to work more than these hours though you do not have to agree. If you do, you will still have to be given enough time to rest after work.
To learn more about working hours in Malta, click here.
So can my employer make me work for as long as he wants?
No. There are special rules which control your working conditions. These include Wage Regulation Orders and Working Time Regulations which fall under the Employment and Industrial Relations Act. So, in this way, there is a limit on the maximum hours you are made to work, the minimum you are paid, how much you are paid for overtime, obligatory rest periods etc.
Click here for more information.
What happens when something goes wrong at work?
If your employer doesn’t follow the conditions of work, such as not paying you, you can make a claim with the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations. This department will then look into your case and take the necessary steps. If you feel you have been been fired for unfair reasons or have been discriminated against, harassed or victimized, then you will need to take your case to the Industrial Tribunal.
How long do I have to work for once I know I’m leaving my job?
You work a number of weeks depending on how long you have been at your job. This is called a Notice Period. If you’ve been working for less than a month, you don’t need to give any notice, and neither does your employer in the case of redundancy. However, during the probation one week notice applies after one month in employment with regard to both definte and indefinite contracts of employment. Notice applies in indefinte employment in cases of redundancy or when the employee resigns. Notice does not apply to definte contract once the probationary period has lapsed. Other obligations apply.
For a full list of Notice Periods, click here.