General legal framework

AuthorRomina Bartolo
2 General legal framework
2.1 Constitution
2.1.1 Constitutional ban on sex discrimination
Article 45 of the Constitution provides as follows:
(1) Subject to the provisions of sub -articles (4), (5) and (7) of this article, no law shall
make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-articles (6), (7) and (8) of this article, no person
shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any
written law or in the performance of the functions of a ny public office or any public
(3) In this article, the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatm ent
to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective desc riptions by
race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex, sexual orientation or
gender identity whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities
or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or
are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another
such description.
2.1.2 Other constitutional protection of equality between men an d women
The Constitution lists the following principles:
- right to work for all citizens and the responsibility of the state in promoting the
conditions to make this right effective (Article 7);
- state protection of work and promotion of the advancement of workers (Article 12);
- the equal right of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and
political rights, for which purpose the state will take appropriate measures to
eliminate all forms of discrimination between the sexes by any person, organisation
or enterprise; in particular the state will aim at ensuring that women workers enjoy
equal rights and the sa me wages for the sam e work as men (Article 14 rights of
women workers).
2.2 Equal treatment legislation
The main law prohibiting sex discrimination is the Equality for Men and Women Act,
(EMWA) (Chapter 456 of the Laws of Malta). Other legislation includes the Employment
and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA), a nd the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex
Characteristics Act 2013 (Chapter 540 of the Laws of Malta), the Cohabitation Act (Act 15
of 2017), the Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expres sion
Act (Chapter 567 of the Laws of Malta) and the Gender-Based Violence and Domestic
Violence Act (Chapter 581 of the Laws of Malta).
The relevant secondary legislation includes: Parental Leave Entitlement Regulations, Part-
Time Employ ees Regul ations, Contracts o f Service for a Fixed Term Regulations,
Organisation of Working Time Regulations, Urgent Family Leave Regulations, Employment
and Industrial Relations Interpretation Order, Protection of Maternity (Employment)
Regulations, ETE Regulations, Extension of Applicability to Service with Government (Part-
Time Employees) Regulations, Extension of Applicability to Service with Government
(Contracts of Service for a Fixed Term) Regulations, Extension of Applicability to Service
with Government (Equal Treatment in Employment) Regulations, Minimu m Special Leave
Entitlement Regulations, Extension of Applicability to Se rvice with Gove rnment (Parental

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