The regulation in the Employment and Industrial Relations Act that states that each worker will be given an additional eight hours of paid leave came into force on July 29, with this being announced in the 2020 Budget.
The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Carmelo Abela introduced this regulation, after consulting with the Employment Relations Board.
These hours of paid leave will be given over and above the hours of paid leave that are already provided by law or to those that are already part of the working conditions.
The other stipulation is that where the hours of paid leave are given for a public holiday or else a public holiday that is on a Saturday or a Sunday, these additional hours cannot extend for more than 24 hours per employee.
Speaking on the matter, Minister Abela stated that the government is giving workers this additional day of paid leave in order to give them “a new lease of life to focus on life away from work: with their family or in environments that relax them”.
He also added that the government will remain committed “to giving our personal lives the importance they deserve”, as we are “whole human beings and not just workers”.
Minister Abela concluded by stating that “This is a better quality of life as proven by facts”.
According to the government’s official statement, discussions are also ongoing over how to increase flexibility in the workplace, as well as on the national telework policy that was announced last week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a toll on most people’s mental health, and so this added day of paid leave will be met with plenty of open arms for sure, allowing people an added day of relaxation.