INFORMATION SESSION ON THE PART TIME REGULATIONS. ORGANISED BY THE MALTA EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION 5 th October 2007

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1 INFORMATION SESSION ON THE PART TIME REGULATIONS ORGANISED BY THE MALTA EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION 5 th October 2007

2 The EU Directive 97/81EC regulating part time employment was adopted by Council on the 15 th December It entered into force on the 20 th January The Directive was extended to the UK and Northern Ireland by means of Council Directive 98/23EC. Part time work was an established phenomenon and was already legislated for in some Member States before the Directive was adopted.

3 Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands transposed Directive by means of changes to existing legislation; Belgium and Denmark have combined legislation with Collective Agreements to implement the Directive; In Austria and Luxembourg the Authorities did not consider specific transposition measures necessary; Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and the UK drafted new and specific legislation to encourage part time employment. The Directive was transposed into Maltese legislation in 2002.

4 DIRECTIVE 97/81EC The purpose of this agreement is to provide for the removal of discrimination against part time workers and to improve the quality of part- time work; To facilitate the development of part-time time work on a voluntary basis and to contribute to the flexible organisation of working time in a manner which takes into account the needs of employers and workers.

5 Part-timers timers shall not be discriminated against Part timers shall not be treated in a less favourable manner than comparable full-timers solely because they work part time unless different treatment can be objectively justified. What constitutes objective justification? Up to the courts to decide Where appropriate the principle of pro rata temporis shall apply

6 MALTA th June 2007 ( 30th June 2007 (L.N 427 of 2002) pro rata entitlements for employees whose employment is the principal employment meaning that employment in which social security contributions are payable and who are employed for not less than 20 hours or fifty percent of the normal working week. 1 ST July 2007 (L.N 140 of 2007) ST July 2007 ( pro rata entitlements for employees who pay social security contributions irrespective of the number of hours worked per week.

7 The distinction between whole timers, full timers and part timers full timer is the term emanating from practice not law and refers to employees working a 40 hour week whole timer the number of hours are stipulated by the applicable Wage Regulation Order part timer - an employee whose normal hours of work, are less than the normal hours of a comparable whole time employee There is no significant distinction between whole timers with reduced hours and part timers since it is clear that if employment is the principal employment employees get pro rata benefits.

8 What do pro rata benefits include? the entitlement of public holidays with pay and annual vacation leave; the benefits contemplated in article 10: maternity leave, parental leave and urgent family leave; any entitlement of injury leave; Statutory bonuses and cost of living increases Income supplements (allowances etc..) available to whole timers in similar duties

9 How are pro rata benefits calculated? The Organisation of Working Time Regulations clearly states that leave entitlements have to be computed in hours Therefore if a full timer who on average works a 40 hour week is annually entitled to 4 weeks and 4 days vacation leave, that is, 192 hours of vacation leave per year then a part timer who works an average of 20 hours per week, will be entitled to half this entitlement, i.e. 192 / 2 = 96 hours per year. In the case of part timers who work a fixed time schedule the average is calculated over a weekly basis or for a period up to one year If on a variable time schedule, the average number of hours worked per week shall be calculated over a thirteen week reference period.

10 Part timers are entitled to the same probationary and notice period as full timers, that is those periods stipulated in Article 36 of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act. These periods are NOT pro rated according to the number of hours worked. An employee s refusal to transfer from part-time to whole time work and vice versa shall not in itself constitute a valid reason for termination of employment.

11 What if an employee doesn t always work 8 hours per week and consequently doesn t pay Social Security Contributions? In this case, that week shall still be included in the calculation, i.e. 0 hours for that week, division by 13. Are student workers entitled to pro rata benefits? Social Security Contributions are not deducted from stipends, therefore if the student works for more that 8 hours per week, that employee pays Social Security Contributions and gets pro rata entitlements Those employees earning less than the national minimum wage have the option of either paying the flat rate LM5.96 or 10% of their wages. If the employee opts for the 10%, can the employer do the same? No, this option is only available to the employee. The employer has to pay the flat rate irrespective of how much the employee pays. If the employee opts to pay 10% of her wages in Social Security Contributions does it in any way affect their pro rata benefits? NO, provided that they do pay social security contributions, they y get pro rata benefits.

12 Do pensioners and widows get pro rata benefits? Initial reaction is no because they do not pay social security contributions, BUT Yes, they do get pro rata entitlements because e the amendments to the part time regulations stipulate that : Principal employment means that employment in respect of which social security contributions are payable in terms of the Social Security Act and includes employment which is excepted employment by virtue of paragraphs 8 and 9 of Part II of the First Schedule to the same Act. SSA Excepted Employment With effect from the 6th January, 1992, employment of a person who w has reached pension age, or a widow, if she so elects, who is in receipt of a pension in respect of widowhood under this Act, provided the weekly wage or salary of such person or widow does not exceed the national minimum wage, or its monthly equivalent, as is applicable to persons of eighteen years of age or over established by a National Standard Order issued under the Employment and Industrial Relations Act.

13 THANK YOU CHARLOTTE CAMILLERI B.A., LL.D. MALTA EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION 35/1, SOUTH STREET VALLETTA /

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