The official entry into force of the regulation in the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (CAP. 452) was announced today, through which each worker was given an increase of another eight hours of paid leave. This was as announced in the 2020 Budget.
This regulation was introduced by the Minister responsible for Employment and Industrial Relations Carmelo Abela, after consultation with the Employment Relations Board and should be considered to have entered into force on the 1st of January 2020.
The additional hours of paid leave will be granted in addition to those hours of paid leave which are already provided for by law, or which are already part of the working conditions, as laid down in any agreement or otherwise.
Where the additional hours of paid leave are granted for a public holiday or a public holiday falling on a Saturday or Sunday, such additional hours of paid leave shall not exceed twenty-four hours per employee.
In his comments, the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela stressed that this Government firmly believes in quality time for individuals and our families and that this is another practical measure which will lead to workers having more opportunities for relaxation time.
“We are giving workers another day a year to spend as they please. In this way, we will be giving our workers a new lease of life to focus on life away from work; with their family or in environments that relax them. This Government remains committed to giving our personal lives the importance they deserve. We are whole human beings and not just workers. This is a better quality of life as proven by facts,” said Minister Abela.
He also reminded how discussions are also underway for more flexibility in the workplace and that work is also underway for the national telework policy that was just announced last week. He also mentioned how in recent weeks there have been other increases in leave, this time longer leave for those involved in an IVF process.
He mentioned that this is the third consecutive year that the Government is giving back to the workers another day of leave in order to continue giving back the days of public holidays that fall on the weekend. This after in the past, without consulting anyone, a government under a different administration had seized these days from all the workers and now a government led by the Labour Party is continuing to fulfil another electoral promise that these will be returned.