1 November 2022



Malta Malta
Geographical scope
  • Type

    Employment contract

View Initiative


The national government of Malta have announced new legislation which will no longer accommodate platform workers being employed as subcontractors. The legal notice introduces the legal presumption of a formal employment relationship for platform workers, and platform companies as the employer. Article 2 of The Notice provides definitions for algorithmic management, digital labor platforms, digital platform work and employer:

  • "algorithmic management" means the use by digital labour platforms of any automated systems, including automated monitoring systems and automated decision-making systems, in any manner whatsoever to match supply and demand for work,as well as to assign tasks, and monitor, evaluate and take decisions for the platform workers;
  • "digital labour platform" means any natural or legal person providing a commercial service enabling the delivery of any product and which meets all of the following requirements: (a) it is provided, at least partially, at a distance through electronic means, such as a web site or a mobile application; (b) it is provided at the request of a recipient of the service; and (c) it involves, as a necessary and essential component, the organisation of work performed by persons,including but not limited to food couriers, through the use of vehicle transportation: Provided that it excludes providers of a service whose primary purpose is to exploit or share assets but shall be limited to providers of a service for which the organisation of work performed by the person does not only constitute a minor and purely ancillary component;
  • "digital platform work" means any work organized through a digital labour platform and performed in Malta by a person on the basis of a contractual relationship between the digital labour platform and the person, or on the basis of a contractual relationship between the work agency and the person who is assigned to or placed at the disposal of any digital labour platform or multiple digital labour platforms by the work agency,in each case irrespective of whether a contractual relationship exists between the person and the recipient of the service;
  • "employer" shall have the same meaning as that assigned to it by the Act and includes, for the purpose of this order, digital labour platforms and work agencies, unless otherwise expressly provided or the context otherwise requires;

Furthermore, Article 4 introduces a legal presumption of an employment relationship. The legal presumption can be rebutted by the digital labour platform or the work agency and, the person performing platform work by submitting a claim to the Director General responsible for Employment and Industrial Relations. For the rebuttal to be successful, it needs to be proven that the platform or the work agency does not control directly or indirectly the performance of the digital platform work because it does not fulfill at least four of the following criteria in relation to the person performing the platform work:

  1. the effective determination of, or stipulating the maximum limits for the level of remuneration;
  2. the requirement that the person performing digital platform work respects specific binding rules with regard to appearance and conduct towards the recipient of the service or performance of the work;
  3. the supervision of the performance of the work or the verification of the quality of the results of the work, including by electronic means;
  4. the effective restriction of the freedom, including through sanctions, to organize one’s work, in particular the discretion to choose one’s working hours or periods of absence,to accept or to refuse tasks or to use sub-contractors or substitutes;
  5. the effective restriction of the possibility to build a client base or to perform work for any third party.

This significant step prohibits the widespread use of bogus employment relationships such as zero-hour contracts, requiring platform workers to be paid the minimum wage and receive adequate social security entitlements. Further, the more regulated employment category will require that workers are paid overtime, they are provided with means for transport fuel and licensing expenses and the deduction of recruitment fees from wages are banned.

Additional metadata

employment status, regulatory changes
No specific sector focus


Eurofound (2022), Legal Notice 268 of 2022, ‘Digital Platform Delivery Wages Council Wage Regulation Order 2022’ (Initiative), Record number 4253, Platform Economy Database, Dublin,