In 2020, Maltese workers had the most paid time off allowance across the EU.
This came out in a report compiled by Eurofound, the EU Agency for the improvement of living and working conditions.
During 2020, Maltese workers were entitled to a minimum of 27 days paid leave, on top of which there were 12 public holidays. In total this amounted to 39 days of paid time off.
The report notes how in Malta the basic minimum annual paid leave, which is equivalent to 24 working days, was increased in 2020 to 27 working days to compensate for public holidays falling on weekends. This meant that the minimum annual paid leave was the highest in the EU, even more than that in Luxembourg – the previous holder of this title. In addition, Malta had 3 more public holidays than Luxembourg.
The minimum annual paid leave was the highest in the EU, even more than that in Luxembourg – the previous holder of this title.
In other European countries such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, workers covered by collective agreements had a higher amount of paid leave than the average Maltese, but this was offset by the fact that there were more public holidays in Malta than in these countries.
In total, between annual leave and public holidays, the average Maltese worker had an entitlement of 39 paid days off. Across the EU the average was just 35 days. Workers in Hungary, Poland, Ireland, and Belgium had the lowest entitlement, with just 29 days or ten days less than Maltese workers.
Back in 2012, Eurofound reported that Maltese workers had 37 days of paid time off. At that time, instead of being at the top of the class, Maltese workers had less entitlement than those in France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, and Germany.
Across Europe in the eight years between 2012 and 2020, there was a decline of one annual leave day. During the same period, Malta saw an increase of three annual leave days. The worst hit countries were France, Ireland, Italy, and Greece, where workers lost between 3 and 5 days of paid annual leave. Only Bulgaria and Slovakia increased paid annual leave more than Malta during these years.
Longest weekly hours
Despite Maltese workers having the highest entitlement of paid time off, Eurofound reports that the longest weekly hours in the EU were recorded in Malta. At just over 41 hours per week, this was nearly 4 hours more than Danish workers.
This confirms that even though Maltese workers are being given better working conditions, they are remaining the most hardworking in Europe, driving forward economic and social progress.