Services for Employees
EU membership has changed the employee’s work life; although employees are now encouraged to raise standards to reach European quality levels, they have also been granted new rights, from recruitment to termination stage.
Work is such an integral part of our lives that when something goes wrong in this area, we feel helpless and browbeaten. But with the right advice and strong support, such situations can be tackled to reach an acceptable solution.
Twenty-one Law advises employees on all employment aspects of working life regulated by law, from:
- Unfair dismissal
- Representation at Industrial Tribunal
- Individual Employment Contracts
- Harassment/ Discrimination issues
- Promotion / Transfers/ Redundancy
In the current labour market, jobs do not grow on trees. So when a person is terminated for an alleged unjust reason, he/she is bound to feel despondent and stunned. This is no easy situation and one requires all the help, legal and moral, one can get.
Twenty-one Law is there to provide legal advice, but, above all, to understand what has happened. Unfair dismissal can be fought out at the Industrial Tribunal but it can also be discussed internally, with Management. Once both parties have clarified their position, the employee, now knowing all his/her legal rights, may decide to go for a negotiated settlement. Twenty-one Law can help the employee arrive at the best decision for him/her, be it settlement or Tribunal. What is important is that the end result is the best solution for the employee, and that can only be reached through solid legal advice, understanding and support.
Representation at Industrial Tribunal
If an employee is convinced that his/her employment rights have been breached, then it is appropriate to register the case with the Industrial Tribunal. The Tribunal does not only cover termination but also cases of harassment, discrimination and lack of equal opportunities.
Twenty-one Law has both local and international experience at Industrial Tribunals. In Malta, cases must be registered four months from the alleged unfair dismissal or from the knowledge that a breach of employment rights has taken place. The Industrial Tribunal has the force of a Court of Law and its decisions are binding on both parties. Industrial Tribunal decisions can only be appealed on points of law.
Twenty-one Law is there to represent employees who decide that the best way forward for them is the Industrial Tribunal.
Individual Employment Contracts
Every employee has a right to a personal employment contract which stipulates all the conditions of employment including the rate of pay. However, there are times when companies include clauses in employment contracts to try to protect themselves in a manner which may be over-reaching. On such occasions it is important that employees know exactly to what type of contract they are committing and that they understand all the clauses involved.
Twenty-one Law is there to vet such contracts and to explain what all the clauses in the contract mean so that employees fully understand the consequences of such commitments. Although no contract can have clauses beneath the law, there are several grey areas which are not covered by the law; it is precisely in such situations that Twenty-one Law can provide invaluable help.
The Equal Opportunities Act of 2003 has made sexual harassment a criminal offence punishable by a maximum of 6 months imprisonment and by a fine of Eur 2330. Such cases are taken very seriously by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality.
Employees who are sexually harassed can seek help at Twenty-one Law. The whole case is discussed in strict confidence and legal advice will be given accordingly. On instruction from the employee, Twenty-one Law will also approach Management to discuss the issue and to seek immediate redress. If required, Twenty-one Law will also move the case to the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality or to Court.
Twenty-one Law also provides advice on cases of discrimination, whether on the basis of gender, marital status, race, family responsibilities, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, political opinion, or union affiliation.
Employees may have a grievance against a company with reference to promotions, transfers or redundancy. However, they may not know how to deal with such an issue. Twenty-one Law will provide the legal background to the situation and explain the rights which employees have in such difficult situations.
If they wish to take the matter forward, Twenty-one Law will act for them and contact Management for a meeting. In most cases, a conciliation meeting is organised during which both parties can put forward their position. In the majority of cases, the situation is resolved amicably. However, if an amicable solution is not achieved, Twenty-one Law can then move the matter to a legal footing.