Annual Vacation Leave
With effect from 1 January 2019, the Annual Leave National Standard Order (L.N. 271 of 2018) will come into force in conjunction with the amendment rules as per L.N. 440 of 2018).
This new National Standard Order is to be taken into consideration together with S.L.452.87 - The Organisation of Working Time Regulations according to the relevant Wage Regulation Order. The Annual Leave National Standard Order includes the following important amendments:
- not more than twelve working days may be utilized by the employer for purposes of shutdowns or bridge holidays which involve full or part closure of the working premises and hence forced leave of its employees
- employers are obliged to identify such shutdown or closure dates by the end of January of each calendar year
- any cancellations of booked and pre-approved vacation leave may be cancelled only if both parties are in mutual agreement
- during periods of maternity, sick and injury leave (whether fully, partially or not paid), vacation leave continues to accrue at the normal rates. Should annual leave not be availed of by the end of a specific calendar year due to sickness, injury or maternity absence, it shall be automatically transferred to the following year when the employee resumes normal working time
- when a national or public holidays falls on a day of rest during the period of maternity leave, the employee is entitled to the equivalent of hours of an additional day of vacation leave
- when an employee terminates employment, any unused vacation leave which has accrued is to be paid to the employee. Similarly, over utilization of vacation leave gives rise to a debt in favour of the employer
LN 274 of 2018 - Itemized Payslip Regulation and LN 439 of 2018 (Amendment)
The Itemised Payslip Regulations (L.N. 274 of 2018) and the respective amendment as per (L.N. 439 of 2018) are another regulation that came into force on 1 January 2019. This regulation puts the following obligations on employers:
- to provide an itemized payslip to employees before or on the date when salaries or wages are due
- sick leave balances are not required to be included but employees are given the right to request sick leave entitlement, utilization and balance records up to four times each year. Such request should reach the employer in writing and the employer is to revert with a response in writing within five days from the date of the request
- The items to be included on the payslips are as follows:
a. The name of the employer;
b. The name of the employee;
c. The address of the employer;
d. The employee’s designation;
e. The total wages paid and the breakdown thereof;
f. The period in respect of which the payslip relates to;
g. The number of normal hours worked;
h. The number of hours entitled at overtime;
i. The hours of annual leave availed of during that period and any remaining balance;
j. The number of hours of sick leave availed of during that period;
k. The basic wages received;
l. A breakdown of any bonuses, allowances or commissions received; and
m. Any deductions effected, including national insurance contributions, taxes and others.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in wages for the year 2019
L.N. 443 of 2018 addresses the increase in the COLA (€2.33 per week) and the mandatory supplement of €1.00 to all employees, provided that the one euro (€ 1) per week as a mandatory supplement shall not be an additional increase in cases of a collective agreement where the cost of living increase is deemed to be part of the overall agreed wage increase set in that collective agreement.
The hourly rate of part-time employees shall be increased by the same amount as the increase in the hourly rate of a comparable full-time employee,
Vacation leave for the year 2019
With effect as from 1 January 2019, an employee working forty hours per week is entitled to 208 hours of paid annual leave. This is calculated on the basis of a 40-hour working week, and an 8-hour working day. If the average normal hours (excluding overtime) calculated over a period of 17 weeks is below or exceeds 40 hours per week, the vacation leave entitlement in hours should be adjusted accordingly, as provided for in the Organisation of Working Time Regulations. When an employee is in employment for less than 12 months, s/he shall be entitled to a proportionate amount of annual leave.