The main legislation in Malta that are focused on employment are Chapter 452 – Employment and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA) and Chapter 343 – Employment and Training Services Act. At the same time, the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) is there to protect the interests of parties in employment contracts while actively promoting a healthy employment relationship in a spirit of social partnership, and to contribute towards stable industrial relations.
The local authorities in Malta also work alongside with the EU Employment law framework and other international labour organisations to ensure a good working relationship between employers and employees to know their relevant rights and obligations.
When an employment contract is drafted, it ensures that employees have all their rights safeguarded thanks to the statutory conditions of employment. These include the right to work in a safe workplace, that at least the national minimum wage is paid, gender equality, vacation leave, and that no discrimination will take place.
If the legally binding contract is breached by any of the parties, meaning that either the employer or employee breaks one of the terms, a legal action is required to take place. Then there is also unfair dismissal. Dismissal and the rights and obligations of the respective parties are matters subject to strict regulation under the Maltese law. The Employer may only terminate a contract of employment based on a ‘good and sufficient’ cause, redundancy, or the employee reaching retirement age.
The following are a few example scenarios that are not considered to be ‘good and sufficient’ causes:
Going on maternity
Becoming a member of a trade union
Joining religious groups
Employer no longer having the confidence of the employee
Disclosing information to a public regulating body regarding alleged illegal activities being committed by the employer.
In case of disputes, if the Tribunal reaches the conclusion that employment was terminated without a ‘good and sufficient’ cause, the employee may seek to either be reinstatement or ask for compensation. If any of these unfair dismissals sounds familiar to you, we invite you to contact Sciberras Advocates for assistance. Their team will help you fight for your rights and compensations.
Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.