In Malta’s Budget on October 15th 2019, it was announced that one additional day of vocational leave will be granted to all workers in 2020 in order to compensate for the number of public holidays falling on a weekend.
The same happened last year, which was understandable (but probably unnecessary) as in 2019, six of the 14 Maltese public holidays fell on a Saturday or Sunday. In 2020, only three 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. For Malta, this would be an average of 2.5 days each year.
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 Maltese workers will miss out on less holidays in 2020 than 2019 and 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 noted last year, to give an extra day off in one particular year.
It seems like this increase in annual leave is going to be a regular event if it has been done for a year with half the number holidays lost to weekends compared to the previous 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.