Introduction of Quarantine Leave in response to Covid-19 Pandemic

Introduction of Quarantine Leave in response to Covid-19 Pandemic

By virtue of Legal Notice 62 of 2020 and Legal Notice 63 of 2020, which came into effect on 13th March 2020, the Minimum Special Leave Entitlement Regulations (the ‘Regulations’) have been amended to include a definition of “quarantine leave” which, summarily, is a new paid leave for all employees, regardless of the sector in which they are employed, therefore including those whose conditions are governed by a Wage Regulation Order (to whom the Minimum Special Leave Entitlement Regulations would not typically apply).

Quarantine leave is special leave to be granted to the employee, without loss of wages, in such cases where the employee is legally obliged to abide by a quarantine order

The Regulations provide that quarantine leave is special leave to be granted to the employee, without loss of wages, in such cases where the employee who has arrived in Malta from any country, is legally obliged to abide by a quarantine order confining the employee to a certain area or to certain premises as determined by the respective health authorities.

The Period of Quarantine (Extension of Countries) Order, 2020 states that a mandatory quarantine order shall apply also in respect of people who live in the same residence as a person who is subject to abide by a quarantine order. This means that such individuals are also entitled to avail of quarantine leave.

The Quarantine Leave entitlement is over and above any other leave entitlement. However, if such employees can work remotely, then the employer is not obliged to pay quarantine leave, and employees shall be paid their normal wages.

Failure by an employer to pay the quarantine leave entitlement results in a breach of the Regulations subject to a fine of Eur465.87.

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