Diligent, highly educated and multilingual, the Maltese workforce is the country’s most valuable asset. Most Maltese nationals speak at least three languages, Maltese, English and Italian, and some are even conversant in French and German. Some 60% of students (18-24-year-olds) continue their education to the third level, with some 85 or more institutions to choose from, including the University of Malta and the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST).
The Employment & Industrial Relations Act governs the conditions of employment, termination of contracts and the organisation of workers and employers. Employment may be for a fixed or indefinite term, and on a full-time or part-time basis. The length of the probation period is normally six months. The standard working week is 40 hours. Employees in full-time employment are entitled to 25 days of vacation per year. Maternity leave for female employees in full-time employment is 18 weeks. The law also provides for up to four months’ unpaid parental leave in the case of birth, adoption or legal custody of a minor.
Jobsplus is responsible for providing a public employment service and managing state-financed vocational training schemes, as well as for processing work permits for non-EU nationals. Malta’s laws on immigration are in line with the European Union’s visa obligations for foreign nationals. While EU and European Economic Areas (EEA) citizens are free to work and reside in Malta, non-EU nationals must apply for and obtain an Employment Permit, with the granting of the licence subject to a labour market test.
In July 2018 Identity Malta has introduced a Temporary Authorisation to Work, which allows third country nationals who have successfully applied for a temporary authorisation to immediately start working with their prospective employer once they have finalised their application in Malta.
Malta has a good stock of specialist recruitment agencies. In addition, staff may be found through the Employment and Training Corporation. The country’s incredible climate and comfortable lifestyle also make it easy to attract foreigners to take up positions in Malta’s finance industry. The tax treatment of financial service professionals under the highly qualified persons scheme (see Taxation) is another incentive for professionals to relocate to Malta.
Malta ranks very favourably as a value-for-money location in which to do business. Salaries are on average 20 to 30% lower than those in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. When social security costs and other employment taxes are factored in, total labour costs are even competitive when compared to the newer EU member states and significantly lower than those in other established members of the European Union.
Two major trade unions, the General Workers Union (GWU) and the Malta Workers’ Union (UHM), dominate the labour landscape, alongside a number of smaller sector-specific unions. Collective bargaining is common, and agreements reached between employers and unions are binding in law. Labour disputes are usually resolved quickly; strikes and stoppages are rare occurrences.
Indicative Range of Annual Gross Basic Salaries (€)
CEO € 90,000 - € 150,000
CFO € 70,000 - € 120,000
CTO € 60,000 - € 85,000
Financial Controller € 42,000 - € 57,000
Part Qualified Accountant € 20,600 - € 25,000
Warranted Accountant € 29,800 - € 36,500
Junior Lawyer € 20,300 - €25,300
Lawyer € 28,000 - €35,000
Software Development Manager €43,600 - €50,300
Software Developer Junior € 18,700 - €22,500
System Engineer – Intermediate €24,000 - €29,300
IT Project Manager €31,000 - €39,000
System Administrator €23,300 - €28,100
Digital Marketing Manager €32,000 - €38,200
Graphic Designer €22,700 - €28,000
Source: Castille Resources 2016