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FAQs

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PARENTAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENT

What are the rights of an employee if s/he needs to take a period of time-off from employment to be able to look after his/her children?

Both male and female workers have the individual right to be granted unpaid parental leave on the grounds of birth, adoption, fostering or legal custody of a child to enable them to take care of that child for a period of four months until the child has attained the age of eight years. Parental leave can be availed of in established periods of one month each.

How much notice should an employee give in applying for parental leave?

An employee applying for parental leave from the employer shall be bound to give a minimum of three weeks notice in writing, specifying the beginning and the end of the parental leave, prior to taking such leave.

Can an employer postpone the granting of parental leave after receiving notice from an employee?

Yes, the employer should postpone the period of parents leave but when there are justifiable reasons related to the operation of place of work.

Is an employee entitled to any rights and benefits while on parental leave?

During the period of parental leave, an employee is still entitled to all rights and benefits which may accrue to other employees of the same class or category of employment at that same place of work.

Is an employee entitled to return to his job on returning from parental leave?

The employee who exercises the right to avail himself of parental leave shall be entitled to return to the same job that the employee occupied prior to the granting of parental leave, or, where this is no longer possible for specific valid reasons, to an equivalent or similar job consistent with the original contract of employment of the employee.

Can an employer dismiss an employee who avails himself of parental leave?

No, the employer cannot dismiss for this particular reason.

Which is the fine if somebody is contravening the regulation?

Any person contravening the provisions of these regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than one hundred and sixteen euro and forty-seven cents (116.47) and not more than one thousand and one hundred and sixty- four euro and sixty-nine cents (1,164.69).

PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

What is the hourly rate for part-time work?

Part-time employees shall be paid the same hourly rate applicable to comparable whole-time employees and for the purposes of this regulation, the wage applicable to the part-time employee shall be the hourly rate related to the number of hours of work for which the employee is employed.

Are all part-timers entitled to pro-rata entitlements?

Yes. Therefore, the pro-rata leave entitlement of a part-time employee shall be computed in hours as a fraction of the total number of hours of leave entitlement of a comparable whole-time employee.

Is it possible to transfer from full time to part time or vice versa?

Yes. It is possible. Every employee is entitled to know of all full/part time opportunities. Such information is to be given in a timely manner in order to allow the employees to apply for the vacancy.

When should a dismissal be considered as unfair?

A part-time employee shall be regarded as having been unfairly dismissed if the reason for the dismissal or the grounds for the dismissal are:  
  • [A] That the employee has:
    • Brought proceedings against the employer under these regulations; requested from his employer a written statement of reasons under regulation 5
    • Given evidence or information in connection with such proceedings brought by any employee
    • Otherwise done anything under these regulations in relation to the employer or any other person
    • Alleged that the employer had infringed these regulations; or
    • Refused (or proposed to refuse) to forgo a right conferred on him by these regulations; or
  • That the employer believes or suspects that the employee has done or intends to do any of the things mentioned in paragraph [A]

COLLECTIVE REDUNDANCIES

What does the employer have to do when he wants to apply collective redundancies?

In all cases of collective redundancies, the employer proposing to declare the redundancies, shall not terminate the employment of such employees before he has notified in writing the employees’ representatives, of the termination of employment contemplated by him and has provided the said representatives with an opportunity to consult with the employer and the employer shall also forward to the Director responsible for Employment and Industrial Relations.

When do redundancies come into effect?

Saving the right of employees regarding notice of dismissal, any projected collective redundancies notified to the Director responsible for Employment and Industrial Relations and the redundancies take effect on the lapse of thirty days after the said notification.

CONTRACTS OF SERVICE FOR A FIXED TERM REGULATIONS

What is a fixed term contract of service?

The contract of service for a fixed term is a contract of service entered into between an employer and an employee where the end of the contract is determined by reaching a specific date, or by completing a specific task, or through the occurrence of a specific event.

What is the difference between a definite (fixed term) and an indefinite contract of service?

As its name implies an indefinite contract of service means that the employee is engaged in an employment for an indefinite period (without a limit). On the other hand a fixed term contract is a contract wherein both parties usually agree on its duration and thus incorporates an expiry date.

Is it possible to change a fixed term contract into an indefinite contract?

Yes, it is. The employer shall endeavour to facilitate access be employees on a contract of service for a fixed term to appropriate training opportunities to enhance their skills, career development and occupational mobility.

INFORMATION EMPLOYEES REGULATION

If the employee leaves Malta for work abroad, what should she/he have in his/her possession?

She/ he has to have a signed copy of the contract of work. If this has not be inside the employee should have a letter of engagement or a signed statement by not later than 8 working days from star to employment.   Besides the above, the employee should know:
  • The duration of the employment abroad
  • The currency to be used for the payment of remuneration
  • Where appropriate, the benefits in cash or kind attendant on the employment abroad; and
  • Where appropriate, the conditions governing the employee’s repatriation.

Can the employer change the details or conditions of a contract of service?

Yes, he can but the employer has to notify the employee of any changes by not later than eight working days from the date when the changes come into effect.

TRANSFER OF BUSINESS

What is the effect on a contract of service if the business is sold?

None, because after a transfer, the contract of employment of each person employed by the transferor shall have effect as if originally made between the person so employed and the transferee.

ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME REGULATIONS

Are employees entitled to a break during a day’s work?

Yes, she/he is entitled to a break. The minimum rest periods and maximum working time are forecast for all employee and can be for daily, breaks and weekly rest.

Is a full time employee entitled to be paid for public holiday?

Yes, she/he is. Every whole time employee shall be entitled to the national holidays and to all public holidays with full pay.

Is there a limit for night work?

Yes, there is. Night worker’s normal hours of work shall not exceed an average of eight hours in any 24-hour period.

URGENT FAMILY LEAVE

Can the employee leave the workplace if there are urgent family reasons?

Yes, he can and the all employees shall be entitled to time off from work on grounds of force majeure for urgent family reasons in cases of sickness or accident making the immediate presence of the employee indispensable.

Which are the most important reasons?

There are:
  • Accidents to members of the immediate family of the employee
  • The sudden illness or sickness of any member of the immediate family of the employee requiring the assistance or the presence of the employee
  • The presence during births and deaths of members of the immediate family of the employee

Is an employee obliged to give notification for leaving the place of work for urgent family matters?

No advance notification is required to be given by the employee except in those cases where it is possible for the employee to give at least twenty-four hours notice of an event which is to take place and which requires the absence of the employee from the place of work for urgent family reasons.

Are employees entitled to be paid when they leave the work place for urgent family reasons?

Yes, they are and the employer shall be bound to grant to every employee a minimum total of fifteen hours with pay per year as time off from work for urgent family reasons.

ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME (CIVIL AVIATION)

What steps should be taken by the employer prior to a work assignment?

The employer should take the necessary measures to ensure that a crew member undergoes a suitable health assessment to determine the crew member’s health status in order to ascertain fitness for the proposed work, prior to assigning work to such a crew member.

What is the maximum annual working time?

It shall be the duty of the employer to ensure that the maximum annual working time, including some elements of standby for duty assignment, shall not exceed 2000 hours, within which, the block flying time shall be limited to 900 hours, provided that the maximum annual working time shall be spread as evenly as practicable throughout the year.

PROTECTION OF MATERNITY (EMPLOYMENT)

Is a pregnant employee entitled to payment during maternity?

Yes, she is and the employer shall pay the employee for the whole of the period necessary to protect the employee’s safety or health, a special allowance equivalent to the rate of sickness benefit payable in terms of the Social Security Act, provided that the employee shall remain entitled on termination of the special maternity leave, to all benefits which may accrue to other employees of the same class or category of employment at that place of work.

What measures should an employer take when an employee is pregnant?

The employer takes measures to protect the health and safety of an employee who becomes pregnant or starts breastfeeding, in terms of the General Provisions for Health and Safety at Workplaces Regulations, to prevent the risk of exposure which could jeopardise the health or safety of such an employee, to agents, processes or working conditions to which exposure is prohibited in terms of specific provisions made under the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, provided that the employee has duly informed her employer that she is pregnant or breastfeeding.

Could a pregnant employee work during the night?

Yes, she could but the employee’s employment rights shall be ensured and her wages shall not be less favorable than those stipulated in her contract of employment when an employer, who a received notification by means of a medical certificate that an employee should not perform night work during her pregnancy and during breastfeeding for reasons relating to her health and safety, transfers her to daytime work to comply with his obligations as an employer in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act, or of subsidiary legislation issued there under.

What is the amount of maternity leave that an employee is entitled to and how should it be administered?

A pregnant employee can resort to maternity leave for an uninterrupted period of fourteen weeks; with full pay. As from 2012 the entitlement of maternity leave was extended to sixteen weeks and as from 2013, it will be extended to eighteen weeks. However, if the employee chooses to avail herself of any additional maternity leave beyond the fourteen weeks, the employer shall not be obliged to pay any wages for those weeks of maternity leave which go beyond the aforementioned fourteen weeks, without prejudice to any relevant benefit in respect of any period of maternity leave which goes beyond fourteen weeks in terms of the Social Security Act to which the employee may be entitled. The employee has to notify her employer in writing of the date when she intends to avail herself of such entitlement at least four weeks before its commencement, in so far as is reasonably practicable. The employee is obliged to avail herself of six weeks of the total entitlement immediately after the date of confinement. Another four weeks are to be taken immediately before the expected date of confinement, unless agreed otherwise between the employer and the employee. The remaining balance of entitlement to be availed of, in whole or in part may be taken, either immediately before or immediately after the aforementioned periods, as the employee may decide.

Is a pregnant worker entitled to take time off to attend ante-natal examinations?

A pregnant employee shall be entitled to time off without loss of pay or any other benefit, in order to attend antenatal examinations, if such examinations have to take place during her hours of work

What should an employee do when she intends to avail herself of maternity leave entitlement?

A pregnant employee who intends to avail herself of her maternity leave entitlement, shall notify the employer in writing of the date when she intends to avail herself of such entitlement.

Is a pregnant employee obliged to work overtime?

No, she is not, employees shall not be obliged to work overtime:
  • During pregnancy
  • For a period of twelve months from either the birth of his or her child or from the effective date of the adoption of a child, provided that the right granted in this regulation shall be anon transferable right

What are the rights of a pregnant employee on a fixed term contract?

An employee on a fixed-term contract shall, for the duration of that contract have the same rights.

Can an employee be dismissed when she is on maternity leave?

No, the employee can not, and it shall not be lawful for the employer to dismiss a pregnant employee, an employee who has recently given birth or a breastfeeding employee, from the date in which such employee informs her employer, by means of a certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner or midwife, of her pregnancy to the end of her maternity leave, or during any period of special maternity leave, because of her condition or because she avails herself or seeks to avail herself of any rights in accordance with these regulations.

YOUNG PERSONS (EMPLOYMENT) REGULATIONS

Is authorisation required in order to employ a child worker?

Yes, is necessary an authorisation from the Director. Above all, the employer has to have the parent’s written permission and the employer has to have a special kind of register

How many hours should a young worker work?

The working time for adolescents shall not exceed eight hours a day and forty hours a week

Can a child work during the night?

No, she/he can not. The adolescent shall perform work between 10 p.m.  on any one day and 6. a.m. of the following day.

EQUAL TREATMENT IN EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS

Is there a limit of concept of discriminatory treatment at the work place?

No, there is not because whatever discriminatory are unlawful whether directly or indirectly including discriminatory treatment related sex, religious disability and age.

The different treatment on the ground of age, is it a discriminatory legal relevant?

No, it is not unlawful and it is not constitute a discriminatory if is justified by a legitimate aim, employment policy, labor market and vocational training objectives.

Which is the role of an employer?

An employer takes effective measures to prevent all forms of discrimination in access to employment vocational training and promotion.

MINIMUM SPECIAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENT REGULATIONS

What is the minimum special leave entitlement?

Every employee shall on employment, be entitled to be granted by his employer.
  • One working day of bereavement leave;
  • One working day of birth leave;
  • Two working days marriage leave;
  • Up to one year of injury leave;
  • Jury service leave for as long as necessary.

OVERTIME REGULATIONS

What is the overtime rate of payment for an employee not cover by Wages Council Wage Regulation Order?

An employee whose overtime rate is not covered by a Wages Council Wage Regulation Order shall be paid one and a halftimes the normal rate for work carried out in excess of a forty hour week, averaged over a four week period or over the shift cycle at the discretion of the employer.

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