The Maltese Government has recently issued the ‘Posting of Workers in Malta (Amendment) Regulations, 2020’ which is scheduled to come into force on the 30th of July 2020.
A ‘posted worker’ is the term given to an individual that is employed in an EU Member State but sent by his employer, on a temporary basis, to carry out work in another Member State. Effectively, this is a transnational provision of service whereby an individual or group of individuals are sent to another country to conduct work.
Legal Notice 262 of 2020 brings about a number of important amendments to the Posting of Workers in Malta Regulations (S.L. 452.82) which is the current local framework which seeks to guarantee the rights and working conditions of a posted worker in Malta and in other EU Member States and ensures to avoid situations whereby service providers try to undercut other foreign service providers with poorer labour standards. The current legislation, as previously highlighted by means of other European legislation, focuses primarily on the equality of treatment of posted workers across the Union.
The amendments that are set to come into force on the 30th of July have confirmed and clarified that the current regulations shall not in any way affect the exercise of fundamental rights, including the right or freedom to strike or to take other legal action.
A new obligation on all foreign service providers has been put into place to guarantee that posted workers are provided with the appropriate terms and conditions of employment. These terms and conditions are laid down in the Temporary Agency Workers Regulations (S.L. 452.106) and apply to temporary agency workers hired out by temporary work agencies established in Malta. The user undertaking shall inform the foreign service provider of these terms and conditions of employment.
A new obligation on foreign service providers has also been put into place whereby they must guarantee workers who are sent to Malta with the appropriate terms and conditions of employment covering the following matters:
- maximum work periods and minimum rest periods as applied to various classes of employees;
- minimum paid annual leave as applied to various classes of employees;
- remuneration, including overtime rates as applied to various classes of employees, provided that supplementary occupational retirement pension schemes shall be excluded from such remuneration;
- the conditions of hiring-out of workers, in particular the supply of workers by temporary employment undertakings;
- measures in accordance with the laws of Malta relating to health, safety and hygiene at work;
- protective measures with regard to the terms and conditions of employment protecting pregnant women or women who have recently given birth;
- protective measures in accordance with the laws of Malta with regards to terms and conditions of employment protecting children and young people;
- equality of treatment between men and women and other provisions of non-discrimination in accordance with the laws of Malta;
- the conditions of workers’ accommodation where this is provided by the employer, to workers who are away from their regular place of work;
- allowances or reimbursement of expenditure to cover travel, board and lodging expenses where this is provided by the employer to workers away from home for professional reasons, provided that this shall apply exclusively to travel, board and lodging expenditure incurred by posted workers where they are required to travel to and from their regular place of work in the Member State to whose territory they are posted to Malta, or where they are temporarily sent by their employer from that regular place of work to another place of work.
For more information on the updates relating to the Posting of Workers in Malta (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 and how these may impact the management of your employees kindly contact Dr Cherise Abela Grech or Dr Sean Xerri de Caro.
This article is not intended to impart legal advice and readers are asked to seek verification of statements made before acting on them.