Working Mothers in Malta

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 18.0 weeks
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? No
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Unpaid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 120
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? No provision
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? No

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

Women workers have the right to maternity leave as guaranteed under the Regulations. Maternity leave is 126 consecutive days (18 weeks). Of these 126 days, 42 days (6 weeks) is the compulsory entitlement and is taken after birth. Four weeks leave may be taken before birth while the remaining leave (8 weeks) may be taken immediately before or after birth as an employee may request. If a worker is unable to avail the 4-week pre-natal leave before birth, this may be availed after confinement.

An employee must inform the employer of her intention to avail maternity leave at least four weeks before the maternity leave begins.

Sources: §6 & 8 of Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations (S.L.452.91) as amended by Legal Notice 415 of 2014

Workers on maternity leave are entitled to full wages during the first 14 weeks, paid by the employer. However, if an employee chooses to avail additional maternity leave beyond 14 weeks, employer is not obliged to pay wages for those extra four weeks. A maternity leave benefit for four weeks is paid by the Government in accordance with the provisions of Social Security Act.

Sources: §7 of Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations (S.L.452.91) as amended by Legal Notice 415 of 2014; §71-72 of Social Security Act (CAP. 318) as amended by ACT XIII of 2015 and Legal Notice 123 of 2015

More about parental leave:

Parental leave is the individual right of both male and female workers. Parents have to be granted unpaid leave on the ground of birth, adoption, fostering or legal custody of a child to enable them to take care of the child for a period of four months until the child has attained the age of eight years. Parental leave is non-transferable and is availed in established periods of one month each.

Both the full-time and part-time workers (whether they are employed on fixed term or indefinite term contracts) qualify for the parental leave if they have been in continuous employment with the employer for a period of at least 12 months.

Unless otherwise provided under a collective agreement, an employer together with an employee may decide whether to grant parental leave on a full time or part time basis, in the piecemeal way or in the form of a time credit system.

On return from parental leave, an employee is entitled to the same job that the employee occupied prior to the granting of parental leave, or, where this is no longer possible for any valid reason, to an equivalent or similar job consistent with the original contract of employment of the employee.

sources: §3, 4, 8 & 9 of the Parental Leave Entitlement Regulations (S.L.452.78)