Public holidays and leave: not if, but when and how
Various options on how it would work in practice
There is no timeframe yet for the introduction of leave to compensate for public holidays falling on weekends as talks between the government and the social partners continue.
Equality Minister Helena Dalli said the question was not whether the pledge will be honoured but the method with which it will be introduced.
Talks moved forward fast during the administration's first 100 days, she added. The proposal was a key electoral pledge.
The options on the table included an outright addition to annual leave entitlement of public holidays falling on a weekend and introduction of bank holidays on Mondays following the weekend. Some employers have also asked to be given the right to decide themselves whether to bank the leave or include it in the annual vacation leave for employees.
Dr Dalli, however, excluded an option proposed by a union for financial compensation for public holidays falling on a weekend rather than an increase in leave entitlement.
“This proposal does not fall within the spirit of the family-friendly measures we are trying to introduce to allow people more quality time,” she said.
Dr Dalli said talks for a complete overhaul of the employment and industrial relations laws were ongoing with the social partners.
These talks had started in the previous legislature and were at an advanced stage.
“Unless this legislature ends tomorrow,” she added with a smile, “the employment laws will be changed by this administration because a lot of progress has been registered already.”
One of the sticking points in these talks is the introduction of a sick leave option for parents if their children are sick.