For 2019, the national minimum wage related to a normal working week was:

Age 18 years and over                     €175.84*

Age 17 years                                   €169.06

Age 16 years                                    €166.22

There are other different minimum wages that are applicable to different jobs within specific industrial sectors. Every employee is entitled to statutory bonuses and weekly allowances.

Furthermore, every worker is entitled to a cost of living increase. A full-time employee is entitled to the full increase, while a part-time employee is entitled to part of the cost of living increase in proportion to the hours worked.

Payment of wages

Wages should be paid at regular intervals not exceeding 4 weeks in arrears, however, different periods of pay can be agreed in a collective agreement. An employer is not allowed to make deductions from the employee’s wage except where permitted by law or by an order of a competent court. However, if it is agreed in a collective agreement or specified in a contract of employment or written statement and authorised by the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations, the employer can impose fines on his/her employees. Fines also include suspension without pay or with reduced pay.

If the employer fails to pay the employee wages due, a complaint can be lodged at the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations.


 The employer can oblige an employee to work overtime:


  1.  when the total hours of work do not exceed an average of 48 hours a week, and
  2.  when an employee has consented in writing to work over such an average. Such consent can be withdrawn by the employee provided that a written notice of at least 7 days or such longer period not exceeding 3 months as may be agreed between the parties, is given to the employer.

Employees are not obliged to work overtime:


  1. During pregnancy
  2. For a period of 12 months from either the birth of his or her child or from the effective date of the adoption of a child.

Employees of private contractors providing services to Public Entities and Government Departments

The applicable hourly rate payable to such employees is, in principle, the hourly rate payable to Government employees performing similar duties. For 2018, 2019 and 2020 the hourly rates applicable are thus the following for the categories indicated:

Category Hourly Rate


(Basic Rate)


Cleaners (Offices) €4.90 €4.97
Street Sweepers €4.90 €4.90
Cleaners (Hospitals & Homes for the Elderly €5.66 €5.66
Care Workers €6.08 €6.08
Clerical/Security €6.50 €6.66

The following conditions should be observed by the employer in respect of employees of private contractors while providing services to Public Entities and Government Departments:


  1. The employee is given a written contract of employment;
  2. A detailed payslip is issued to the employee;
  3. Wages shall be deposited by direct payment in the employee’s bank account;
  4. No subcontracting shall take place to contractors employing the same employees of the principal contractor.
* Upon completion of the first year of employment with the same employer, the employees are entitled to mandatory increases of €3 per week, and upon completion of the second year, to an additional €3 per week. The increases should be paid to employees on a pro-rata basis.


Charlene Baldacchino Gauci

Senior Associate


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