COVID-19: Employment Law & Quarantine Leave

Government Measures to Assist Employers and Safeguard Jobs

| 20 Mar 2020

Employment And Labour Law

A legal notice issued on the 13 March 2020 amends the Malta employment law to include a special leave to cover any mandatory quarantine period an employee may need to adhere to in line with the Government’s measures to restrain the spread of COVID-19 in Malta. An employee, therefore, is now entitled to quarantine leave without loss of wages in such cases where the employee is legally obliged to abide by quarantine orders.  Quarantine leave is over and above the vacation leave entitlement.

This legal notice is an important development, clarifying how time-off work of an employee due to quarantine measures in place should be treated at law.

The announcement of such legal notice has triggered a serious of reactions especially from employers, considering that this measure, introduces and added burden on them.  Bodies representing employers have started discussions with the Government.  The Government has in the meantime, announced a number of fiscal incentives to assist employers.

As at the date of the last update to this write-up (18 March 2020), a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days needs to be observed by the following:

  • any  person  arriving  in  Malta  from  any country immediately upon his arrival in Malta; or
  • any person who comes in contact with a person diagnosed as suffering from COVID-19 infectious disease upon receiving an oral or written order, from the Superintendent of Public Health

Any  person  who  fails  to  follow the mandatory quarantine is guilty  of  an offence and liable to the payment of a penalty of €3,000 for each occasion that the quarantine period is breached.

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Dr Charlene Mifsud

Partner, Corporate & Commercial

+356 2205 6298

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