Employment agreements and Policies

Novolegal has assisted various clients, employers and employees alike with legal advice and assistance in relation to employment contracts and policies as well as collective agreements.

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Employment Agreements

Contracts of employment may be concluded between an employer and an employee either for a fixed term or for an indefinite term without a stipulated termination date. Despite the different nature of these two contracts, the conditions of a fixed term contract cannot be less favourable than those applicable under an indefinite contract for the same employment.  A definite contract of employment may be renewed for a total of four years, following which the contract is transformed into an indefinite contract.

Notice of termination must be given depending on the length of employment in accordance with the following:

  • Not more than 1 month – no notice
  • 1-6 months – 1 week
  • 6 months – 2 years – 2 weeks
  • 2 – 4 years – 4 weeks
  • 4 – 7 years – 8 weeks
  • 7 – 8 years – 9 weeks
  • 8 – 9 years – 10 weeks
  • 9 – 10 years – 11 weeks
  • 10+ years – 12 weeks

An indefinite contract of employment may be terminated unilaterally by the employee without giving any reason, subject to giving adequate prior notice as stipulated by law depending on the length of the employment. The employer cannot terminate an indefinite contract unless there is a good and sufficient cause or in the case of redundancy. In the case of redundancy, the employee must be given a notice of termination.

A fixed term contract of employment may be terminated on the termination date stipulated in the contract. In the event that one party terminates the fixed term contract without a good and sufficient reason, such party must pay half of the wages that would have been due during the continuation of the contract. If there exists a good and sufficient reason to terminate the fixed term contract, then there is no obligation on the part of the terminating party to pay this penalty.

    The first six months in any contract of employment constitute a probation period where the parties are granted a trial period to assess the employment relationship. The parties may agree to a shorter period of probation, however, in the case of a contract of service or a collective agreement where the employee holds a technical, executive, administrative or managerial post and the wages are at least double the minimum wage, the probation period is of one year unless specified otherwise. During the probation period, either party may terminate the employment at will without assigning any reason. In such case, one week’s notice must be given if the employment exceeded one month.

    Novolegal’s employment team is equipped with the necessary skills and experience to assist with the drafting and reviewing of employment contracts to ensure adherence to the law. Novolegal also advises its clients on the applicability of wage regulation orders.


    Employment Policies

    Novolegal assists employers with the drafting of adequate policies to structure the rights and obligations of the work force. These policies include but are not limited to:

    • data protection policies
    • health and safety policies
    • disciplinary and grievance procedures
    • leave policies

    and many more depending on the exigencies and structure of the employer and its work force. This ensures that the employer and employee’s rights are equally protected and prevent from disputes occurring in the work place which could potentially lead to proceedings instituted before the competent courts in Malta and DIER investigations. in a climate where damages being awarded to the employee for instances of unfair dismissal is on the increase.

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