Employment contracts in Malta have to include the statutory conditions that are regulated by law (e.g. working hours, overtime rates). Other conditions can be agreed between the employer and the employee, as long as the minimum requirements are met.
Trade unions are also common in Malta and membership rates are relatively high. In many cases, your trade union and your employer will establish collective agreements to ensure the contract conditions are met. The trade union will negotiate for you if the contract is breached in any way.
Fixed term and indefinite contracts
For a period of full time employment exceeding one month, the employer is obliged to provide a contract. This should include the salary, overtime rates, working hours, the place of work and the leaving indemnities. Wages must be paid at regular intervals and at least every four weeks.
Contracts can be entered into for a fixed or an indefinite period of time. Fixed term contracts can be renewed for up to a maximum of four years. Afterwards, the employer is obliged to give the employee an indefinite contract unless there is a good reason not to.
When a fixed contract expires, it must be renewed within 12 days. If either party breaks the contract before the end of its expiry date, they must pay the other party half the amount of wages for the remaining period.
The first six months of a job constitutes a probation period, unless otherwise agreed. In jobs where the wages exceed the minimum wage by half, the probation period lasts for one year. During probation, termination can happen at any time with one weeks notice.