If you work in Malta, you should know the normal working hours in Malta will vary according to the industry and will depend on whether you have a contract for full-time employment or part-time employment. These regulations are set across different sectors and activities by the Wage Regulation Orders.
In a typical scenario, you will be expected to work a 40 hour week; overtime does not count towards this calculation. In some cases workers may be subject to additional work hours, but the maximum limit by law is 48 hours per week. This number is calculated from the average hours of weekly work over a reference period of 17 weeks for most sectors; in some cases such as manufacturing and tourism, the reference period is of 52 weeks or an entire year.
In some situations, your employer could ask you to work for more than the maximum 48 hours/week. This is only allowed by law if you sign a written consent to your employer’s request. Should you refuse to conform, your employer is not allowed to force you or even to impose any negative repercussions over your refusal. In case you do give your consent to work more than 48 hours per week, you are still entitled to daily and weekly rest periods as established under Maltese law.
Even if you have signed a consent to do up to 48 working hours weekly, you can withdraw your consent at any time by submitting a written notice to your employer. You are normally expected to submit this notice a full week in advance; this notice period can be extended up to three months if that was previously determined in your original consent.
When you, as the employee, have not signed a consent to work up to 48 hours weekly on average, your total working hours in Malta (including overtime) over a standard reference period of 17 weeks must not exceed 48 hours. In case you are under a 40-hour week contract you may be offered more than 8 hours of overtime occasionally, as long as you are still allowed your daily and weekly rest periods as determined by law.