Malta’s Paternity Leave: Is There Any Change?

It is obvious that one parent, male or female, is expected to give up all to care for their child after birth. This is why it is common to use maternity leave, regardless of whether or not one wants to.

This way of thinking is reflected in our legislation. A pregnant woman working in Maltese has the right to 18 weeks uninterrupted maternity leave. The first 14 weeks are paid off by her employer and the rest are paid by the government. In general, an employee who intends to use such leave must notify her employer at least four weeks in advance. On

On the other hand, according to Subsidiary Legislation452.101, the “Minimum Special Leave Entitlement Regulations”, a father has the right to 1 day of birth leave on the occasion of his child’s birth.

Subsidiary Legislation 452.78, the ‘Parental leave entitlement regulations’ regulates parental leave. Both male and female workers are entitled to unpaid parental leave for birth, adoption, foster, or legal custody. This allows them to care for the child for up to 4 months until the child reaches the age of 8. You can take parental leave for one month. An employee can apply for parental leave if he/she has worked with their employer for at least 12 consecutive months unless an agreement is reached between them.

Taking all this into account, fathers have the option of paternity leave equal to one working day at full pay or they can opt for unpaid parental leaves. There is more to do, it is obvious.

Directive EU on Work-Life Balance

The EU Work-Life Balance Directive (Directive 2019/1158), was implemented in 2019. The Directive’s main purpose is to increase access to flexible arrangements and family leave. All Member States have three years to implement the Directive starting on August 1, 2019.
Directive into their national legislation. The Directive includes the following measures:

Paternity leave will be introduced. Fathers can take paternity leaves of at least 10 days around the time of their child’s birth. This leave is to be compensated at least at the level of sick leave.

– Ensuring 2 of the 4 months of parental leave are not transferable between parents, and that the compensation is at a level determined by each Member State.

– 5 days of annual leave for carers, which means workers who provide personal care or support to a family member will be eligible to take this leave.

Flexible working arrangements for parents and carers of children under 8 years old
Years old.

As we have already stated, there is much more to do, but the introduction of this Directive is a good step in the right direction.

Comparative comparison with other European countries

To assess the paternity leave situation within other EU member states, a comparative study was conducted, as shown in the table below.

EU Member State – Leave entitlement

Sweden – Sweden’s parents have 480 days of parental leave after a child’s birth or adoption. If a parent is older than 2, they are entitled to 240 days of paid parental leave.

Finland – After the child’s birth, fathers may take up to 54 days of paternity leave. The father may be home with the mother during 18 working days. It takes approximately three weeks.

Norway – Mothers may take 49 weeks at full or 80% pay and fathers between zero and 10 weeks, depending on the income of their wives. Parents can share 46 weeks of full pay, 56 weeks at 80% or 56 weeks.

Denmark – Denmark’s parents have 52 weeks of parental leave. Fathers have the right to 2 weeks’ leave in the first 14 weeks following the birth. After that, 32 weeks are followed by which the father and mother can share their leave.

Italy – The ‘condo di Paternita’ (or paternity leave) is a 7-day mandatory paid leave that can be taken independently and can be claimed within five months of the child’s birth. It can also be granted simultaneously with the maternity paid leaves.

France – The paternity leave duration is 11 consecutive days or 18 consecutive days for multiple births.

Spain – Spain’s paternity leave was increased from 5 to 8 weeks on April 1, 2019. It was extended to 12 weeks on the 1st of January 2020. It was extended an additional 4 weeks on 1 January 2020, making it a total of 16 weeks. This makes fathers’ paid time off equal with paid maternity leave for the first time in Spain’s historical history.

Netherlands – Fathers are entitled to 5 weeks of paternity leave (‘vaderschapsverlof’), at a rate of 70% of one’s regular pay.

Poland – All fathers who are insured have 2 weeks of paternity leave (‘urlopojcowski’) that can be used up to the 24-month mark.

Portugal – Working fathers in Portugal are allowed to take paternity leave for five consecutive days following the birth of their baby. The additional 10 days can be taken within the next 30 days. These days do not have to be consecutive.


Why is it that Maltese family law south surrey gives mothers several weeks of maternity leave while fathers only get one day of paternity leaves? Isn’t it possible for fathers to be the parents of the newborn child as well?

You would expect that paternity leave will be equalized in 2021. However, this is not the case in many countries, including Malta.

A healthy work environment is essential for a happy life. Work-life balance will undoubtedly enhance one’s quality and happiness. Malta still has a lot to do, but the implementation of the Work-Life Balance Directive is a significant step on the long-awaited road.