Overtime in Malta
Rules on overtime vary by sector and are governed by the Wage Regulation Order (WRO) that applies to the particular activities you are carrying out. If your job or sector is not covered by a WRO, then the default overtime rate is 1.5 times your ordinary pay and will apply to any hours worked over 40 per week. However, this is averaged over a four-week period or shift cycle, so if you worked less than 40 hours in one week, it may affect your entitlement to overtime the next week.
Overtime in Pay Packages
The Information to Employees Regulations explains that employees are obligated to inform you of certain facts about your job, such as the normal rates of pay and normal hours of work. It is not in line with these regulations to offer a job with an unspecified amount of overtime. Therefore, contracts will generally include a clause specifying that a certain amount of money will be paid in respect of a certain amount of hours worked over the normal weekly amount, which cannot exceed an average of 48 hours.
When taking a job in Malta, you will be asked if you give your consent to work over 48 hours per week on average. If you do not, then you cannot legally be asked to work more than 48 hours a week. However, you can be asked to work overtime in Malta if the total hours add up to less than 48, or if you have given permission in writing to work more than this. However, there are a couple of extra stipulations in the Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations that override any other laws and regulations as well as anything laid out in your contract of work. These state that you can never be asked to work overtime during pregnancy or during the first year of your child's life (or in the first year after adopting a child). This all means that there are circumstances where you can refuse overtime, and circumstances when you can't - it depends what you originally agreed in writing.