AuthorRomina Bartolo
1 Introduction
1.1 Basic structure of the national legal system
The supreme law of Malta is the Constitution of 1964, as amended. Malta is an independent
republic with a parliamentary system of government. Parliament makes la ws subject t o
respect for Malta’s international obligations, including membership of the European Union.
The European Union Act of 2003 made European Union law applicable and effective in
Malta. Enforcement is through a system of courts: at the top is the Court of Appeal and
the Constitutional Court, below them is the Civil Court and the Criminal Court, and below
that are th e Magistrates courts. Constitutional matters are ultimately decided by the
Constitutional Court. Gender equality legislation is a matter for Parliament and often takes
the form of ministerial secondary or ‘subsidiary’ legislation (denoted by the prefix ‘SL’) by
virtue of enabling or primary law. Article 14 of the Constitution states:
The State shall promote the equal right of men and women to enjoy all economic,
social, cultural, civil and political rights and for this p urpose shall take appropriate
measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination betw een the sexes by any person,
organisation or enterprise; the Stat e shall in particular aim at ensuring that women
workers enjoy equal rights and the same wages for the same work as men.
1.2 List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
Acts and subsidiary legislation (SL).1
Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 452, Laws of Malta ) (EIRA)
- SL 452.78, Parental Leave Entitlement Regulations of 2 September 2003 as amended
in 2007, 2010 and 2011 transposin g Council Directive 2010/18/EU of 8 March 2010
repealing Directive 96/34/EC implementing the revised framework agreement on
parental leave.
- SL 452.79, Part-Time Employees Regulations of 1 January 2003 as amended in 2007,
2008, 2010 and 2016 implementing Directive 97/81/EC the framework agreement
on part-time working.
- SL 452.81, Contracts of Service for a Fixed Term Regulations of 15 June 2007 as
amended in 2008 and 2009 implementing Directive 199 9/70 concerning the
framework agreement on fixed-term work.
- SL 452.87, Organisation of Working Time Regulations of 5 April 2004 as amended in
2007, 2012, 2017 and 2018 implementing Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain
aspects of the organisation of working time.
- SL 452.88 , Urgent Family Leave Regulations of 5 April 2004 as amended in 2007
implementing Directive 2010/18/EU the revised framework agreement on p arental
leave and repealing Directive 96/34/EC.
- SL 452.89, Employment and Industrial Relations Interpretation Order of 7 October
2003 implementing Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 a nd Directiv e
2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion
or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, race or ethnic origin.
- SL 452.91, Protection of Maternity (Employment) Regulations of 5 January 2004 as
amended in 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2014 implementing Council Directive
92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage
improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers
who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.
- SL 452.95, Equal Treatment in Employment Regulations (ETE Regs) of 5 November
2004 as amended in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014 implementing the relevant
provisions of Council Directives 76/207/EEC, 2000/78/EC, 2000/43/EC, 2002/73/EC
and 2006/54/EC.

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