Maltese Courts uphold Employers' Rights

Dr Jonathan Pisani | Published on 25 Oct 2012

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Malta Employment Contracts

Maltese employment law permits a contract of employment to be concluded for a ‘definite’ or an ‘indefinite’ term of duration.   Either form of employment arrangement may be terminated subject to its unique procedure and rules.  However, both employment agreements are subject to an initial probation period of six months, unless both parties agree for a shorter probation period.
Maltese law allows a longer probation period of one year in the case of a contract of employement in respect of employees holding technical,executive, administrative or managerial posts and whose wages are at least double the minimum wage established in that year, unless otherwise specified by the parties.

Termination of employment while in probation

In Malta the probation period runs from the date employment began.  This should not be equated with the date of signing of the agreement since the two may not coincide.  Throughout the duration of the probation period either the employer or the employee may terminate their employment relationship at any time and without giving a reason for the termination.  However a notice period of one week should be observed if employment has lasted for at least one month.

Courts uphold's employer's rights

Recently the Court of Appeal confirmed the above application of Maltese employment law.  The dismissal of an employee by the branch of a foreign bank was upheld by the court even though reason for the dismissal was not offered.  The court confirmed that since the period of probation had not lapsed, the bank did not need to demonstrate a valid reason for the dismissal and the employee’s performance levels were not material in this matter.

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