Sources of Labour Law


The hierarchy of legal sources of Maltese labour law can be generally broken down as follows:

Primary Legislation

The most notable of these primary legislative sources include the Constitution of Malta, the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA), the Employment Commission Act, the Employment and Training Services Act and EU Regulations and Directives which apply in virtue of the doctrine of direct effect

Secondary Legislation

Regulations made under the EIRA, the majority of which serve to implement EU regulations and directives, fleshing out the basic legal framework provided by the EIRA. These include Wage Regulation Orders which represent administrative regulations which regulate certain conditions of employment for specific sectors. At present, there are 31 different WROs in force. The conditions specified in these Orders include inter alia maximum hours of work, minimum wages, overtime rates, sick leave and special leave.

Public Service Management Code

Members of the public service have their conditions of employment regulated by means of the Public Service Management Code or “PSMC” which was introduced in 2002 to replace the EstaCode. The PSMC brings together all the standing regulations, circulars, policies on HR Management, in the fields of Employee Relations and Resourcing in the Public Service. This code falls within the competence of the Management and Personnel Office (the former Establishments Division) within the Office of the Prime Minister

Collective agreements

These are enterprise-specific agreements which regulate the conditions of employment of around a th rd of the total gainful employment in the private sector.

Judicial Decisions

Arbitration awards

Custom and practice

These serve as a source of law in circumstances where the law is silent.