In Malta’s Budget on 22 October 2018, it was announced that one additional day of vocational leave will be granted to all workers in 2019 in order to compensate for the number of public holidays falling on a weekend.
In 2018, four of the 14 Maltese public holidays fell on a Saturday or Sunday. In 2019, that number increases to six. It should be noted that in 2020, only two public holidays will fall on a weekend.
In a country where public holidays don’t get moved if they fall on a weekend, over the course of a typical working career, an employee will lose approx. 18% of public holidays due to weekends.
With Maltese workers observing 14 public holidays a year, then they average 10 per year over the course of their working life, which is still more than many other countries.
Given that the number of public holidays lost to weekends balances out over the course of several years, it does seem unnecessary, as the Malta Employer’s Association has already noted, to give an extra day off in one particular year.
Add on the paid annual leave of four weeks and four working days, Maltese workers enjoy one of the most generous leave allowances in Europe.