Unemployment Benefits

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-17

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefit is paid under the contributory and non-contributory scheme. Under the contributory scheme, unemployment benefit is paid to an unemployed person with 50 weeks of paid contributions and 20 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the two years preceding the year in which the claim is made. For non-contributory schemes, there is provision for Special Unemployment Benefit which is paid to the head of the household after a means test. There is also provision for Unemployment Assistance payable under means test if the insured person has exhausted the right to unemployment benefit.

For entitlement to unemployment benefit, the insured person must be registered as unemployed and be capable of and available for work. No benefit is paid for six months if unemployment is voluntary or as a result of misconduct. The Unemployment Benefit and the Special Unemployment Benefit is paid for up to 156 days excluding Sundays. The Unemployment Benefit is paid at the rate of €11.80 per day to a single parent or a married person whose spouse is not employed full time and €7.72 for all other insured persons. The total number of benefit days must not exceed the total number of contributions paid since the person first entered the system. The Special Unemployment Benefit (means tested) is €19.83 a day and is paid to a single parent or married person whose spouse is not employed full-time. The benefit is €12.94 for other insured persons. The benefit is payable from the first day of unemployment, and for up to 156 days. After that, the person no longer qualifies for this benefit unless he takes up employment again for at least 13 weeks. The total number of benefit days cannot exceed the total number of contributions paid by the individual since his entry into the social security scheme.

Unemployment Assistance is paid at a rate that can vary in accordance with the means test, and in particular varies with household composition. If weekly income of the household exceeds the weekly benefit, no benefit is paid.

With effect from 1st January 2015, a person who has not yet reached the age of 23 years is obliged to participate in the Youth Guarantee Scheme under the supervision of the Ministry responsible for Employment.

Sources: Social Security Act (CAP. 318) as amended by ACT XVI of 2017 and Legal Notice 123 of 2015; https://dssservices.gov.mt/BenefitPaymentRates.aspx