Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth & Sport and SportMalta were in discussion with the Public Adinistration HR Office (PAHRO) with the aim to amend and improve, for the benefit of local sports people who represent Malta, the special sports leave policy issued earlier this year.

As a result of these discussions, the new revised and improved provisions in relation to participation at international sports activities held both locally are now included in the Public Service Management Code.

These are the new conditions:

4.5.6. International Sports activities held locally and abroad

4.5.6.1. Public officers participating as athletes, coaches or accompanying officials in international sports activities, both locally and abroad, are allowed special leave with pay. Public officers benefitting from the 20/20 Sports Training Leave Scheme are not precluded from being granted special paid leave under this policy.

4.5.6.2. International Sports activities held abroad

Special leave with pay is allowed for a maximum of ten (10) events per calendar year when:
(1) members of a National Sport Organisation will be representing Malta in both competitive and friendly events held abroad;
(2) members of Local Sport Organisations (individual clubs) will be participating in competitive events held abroad .
All absences directly related to the actual duration of the specific event, such as travel days, are also to be covered by special paid leave.

4.5.6.3. International Sports activities held locally

One day special paid leave is allowed for actual participation in international sports activities held locally when:
(1) members of a National Sport Organisation will be representing Malta in both competitive and friendly events held locally;
(2) members of Local Sport Organisations (individual clubs) will be participating in competitive international events held locally.

4.5.6.4. Attendance at mandatory conferences and meetings

Special paid leave is allowed for attendance at mandatory conferences and meetings when:
(1) officials of a National or Local Sport Organisation will be representing their organisation at mandatory conferences and meetings held abroad, such as the annual general meetings of their respective international federation;
All absences directly related to the actual duration of the specific conference and meeting, such as travel days, are also to be covered by special paid leave.

4.5.6.5. Application Procedure

The applicant should submit an application to the respective Director, copied to the Director responsible for Corporate Services, by not later than fifteen (15) days before the event. The request should be endorsed by Kunsill Malti għall-Isport, SPORTMALTA, and copied to the Permanent Secretary for Sport. All the documentation listed in paragraph 4.5.6.5.1. should be included.

4.5.6.5.1. The application should include the following documentation:
i) information about the International Sports Event or a copy of the official invitation in case of a conference or meeting;
ii) the endorsement of the National Sport Organisation of the discipline concerned and SportMalta, in the case of members or officials of National Sport Organisations representing Malta in competitive or friendly events or attending mandatory conferences or meetings;
iii) the endorsement of the Local Sport Organisation and SportMalta, in the case of members or officials of Local Sport Organisations participating in competitive events or attending mandatory conferences or meetings;
iv) the duration of the event, in the case of events and mandatory conferences and meetings being held abroad;
v) the day/s during which the applicant will actually be participating in sports activities held locally;
vi) the number of days of special leave being requested.

4.5.6.5.2. The National Sport Organisation/Local Sport Organisation responsible for endorsing the request should support the application with documentation that:
1) it is registered with SportMalta;
2) the event is recognised by SportMalta as an International event; or that the conference/meeting is
recognised by SportMalta as mandatory;
3) the officer will be participating in and representing Malta at the International event or mandatory
conference/meeting held locally or abroad; and whether the event is being held in Malta or abroad.

4.5.6.5.3. In those cases where the applicant is an athlete already benefitting from the 20/20 Sport Training Leave Scheme, presentation of the related approval, and, in lieu of the documentation listed in paragraph

4.5.6.5.2., sub-paragraphs 1-4, would suffice, so long as the request for special paid leave is being made in connection with the same International event.

4.5.6.5.4. Within five (5) days from receiving the application, the respective Director shall inform the employee in writing whether the application has been approved or not. A request may be refused in such instances as acute staff shortage or when the employee is performing specialised duties which require one’s full time presence.

4.5.6.5.5. In those cases where the employee cannot be released, the employee may appeal to his/her Permanent Secretary who shall investigate the case and decide whether to accede to the request or otherwise. The decision taken by the respective Permanent Secretary will be final.

4.5.6.5.6. All decisions shall be addressed to the Permanent Secretary responsible for Sport, and copied to SportMalta and the Director, Employee Relations within PAHRO.

4.5.6.5.7. The Permanent Secretary responsible for Sport will notify SportMalta, the employee and the respective Director of the final decision to authorise/reject the employee’s application. The Permanent Secretary responsible for Sport shall have the power to overturn a positive recommendation made in respect of paragraph 4.5.6.5.4.

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