The recent Legal Notice No. 156 of 2017 (“Leave for Medically Assisted Procreation National Standard Order 2017”) has laid down minimum requirements designed to grant a period of paid leave to employees who undergo the process of medically assisted procreation (hereinafter referred to as the “leave”) whether in Malta or outside Malta.
Who would be entitled to the leave?
Leave for medically assisted procreation is granted to “prospective parents” where, according to the above Legal Notice, this means “two persons who are united in marriage, civil union, cohabitation, or have attained the age of majority and are in a stable relationship with each other”.
Protective parents who avail themselves of leave cannot be dismissed by the employer by reason of their intention of utilise such leave.
Duration of leave
Prospective parents who undergo the process of medically assisted procreation, whether in Malta or outside Malta, are entitled to one hundred (100) hours of leave for medically assisted procreation with full pay between them.
If only one of the prospective parents is in employment during the process of medically assisted procreation:
• sixty (60) hours of the said leave shall be enjoyed by the prospective parent acting as the receiving person; and
• forty (40) hours of leave shall be enjoyed by that prospective parent who is not acting as the receiving person.
On the other hand, if both prospective parents are in employment, whether with different employers or with the same employer, during the process of medically assisted procreation, the said leave may be enjoyed concurrently by both prospective parents.
Prospective parents may utilise the hours of leave in a non-continuous manner. In particular, the leave entitlement is granted for every process of medically assisted procreation, up to a maximum of three processes.
Duty of notification
The prospective parent who requests leave for medically assisted procreation shall provide the employer with proof that s/he is the receiving or non-receiving person. S/he is also required to provide proof about the employment status of the other prospective parent.
Furthermore, the prospective parent who intends to avail him/herself of the leave, shall notify the employer in writing of the date or dates when the period of leave is supposed to start at least two weeks before the utilisation of such a leave, and also provide a written certification by the medical practitioner in charge of the procedure of medically assisted procreation.
If the prospective parent wishes to avail him/herself of the leave in a non-continuous manner, s/he shall present relevant certification to the employer every time s/he wishes to use part of that leave, at least two working days before the said part of the leave commences.
According to law, any individual contravening the above provisions is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than five hundred euro (Eur500).