The Maltese Government has introduced laws and family-friendly policies in order to promote a positive work life balance for its people – these include free and affordable child-care. From the 1st of January 2012 maternity leave increased from 14 to 16 weeks.
Child care is essential if women are to fulfill their role in the workplace, although women who work full time tend to have more difficulties balancing work and family.
Usually, parents dedicate their weekends to family and children.
The main national holidays are:
- 1st January – New Year’s Day
- 10th February – St. Paul’s Shipwreck
- 19th March – St. Joseph
- 31st March – Freedom Day
- March / April (date changes) – Good Friday
- 1st May Labour/Worker’s Day
- 7th June Sette Giugno
- 29th June – St Peter and St Paul (L-Imnarja)
- 15th August The Assumption (Santa Marija)
- 8th September Our Lady of Victories
- 21st September – Independence Day
- 8th December – Immaculate Conception
- 13th December Republic Day
- 25th December – Christmas Day
The Maltese employees in the private sector generally work 40 hours per week. Offices are open from Monday to Friday generally from 08.00 till 17.00.
Many small businesses and retail shops close for a few hours in the afternoon. It is always best to check opening hours . Working hours are from 09:00 to 13:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00 from Monday to Saturday. On Saturdays, most shops are open only in the morning. Shops in tourist areas do not normally close at lunchtime and usually remain open until 22:00 in summer.
In Malta there is a high standard of health care and there are good and modern hospitals and regional health centres.
The Government offers a free health service to all citizens, persons who work in Malta and even tourists, although there is also a private healthcare system. The Ministry of Health is currently investing time and effort to improve the public healthcare sector in Malta and Gozo through the use of new technologies.
The main benefits to citizens and patients of healthcare services online via the E-health Portal are: the reduction of queues at hospitals and health centres; the automation of the process for the services offered; the accessibility to the general public is h 24.