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Malta: The Minister may, after consultation with the Employment Relations Board, prescribe the maximum weekly working hours including overtime, minimum period of daily and weekly rest, annual leave and may make different provisions for different kinds of employees. The average weekly working hours for each 7-day period including overtime cannot exceed an average of 48 hours over a reference period of 17 weeks except in the case of manufacturing and tourism sector workers including travel and catering establishments where the reference period is 52 weeks. The daily work time limits are not clearly provided for the daytime workers in the law. The daily average working hours for night workers are 8 hours in a 24 hour period over a reference period as provided in a collective agreement or a 17-week employment period. The working time for young workers also does not exceed eight hours per day. The working time for young workers may not exceed 40 hours per week. Overtime means time worked in excess of normal hours of work per week. However, since the law says that average weekly working hours including overtime cannot exceed 48 hours (provided that workers have a minimum 24 hours of weekly rest), it can be assumed that performance of overtime work is allowed only for workers whose working hours are less than 48 hours per week and thus they can work up to 48 hours including overtime hours. Nonetheless if a worker has given written consent to work more than an average of 48 hours per week, the above 48-hour limit does not apply to that worker. Moreover, as provided under the Overtime Regulations, the normal working hours are 40 hours a week and eight hours above 40 hours a week are considered overtime hours. An employee whose overtime rate is not covered by a Wages Council Wage Regulation Order is paid one and a half times (150% of) the normal rate for work carried out in excess of a forty hour week, averaged over a four week period or over the shift cycle at the discretion of the employer. An employer may not have to pay overtime rates if schemes to bank hours are introduced allowing extra hours over and above the normal weekly working hours due to the periods of higher activity and then reducing working hours in periods of lower activity. Law allows 376 hours to be banked over a year and paid at the normal rate of payment. Sources: §6 of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (CAP. 452) last amended by Act IV of 2015; Overtime Regulations (S.L.452.110) as amended by Legal Notice 81 of 2015; §6 & 7 of the Organisation of Working Time Regulations (S.L.452.87)
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