Maltese law affords additional protection from termination of employment to:
- employees suffering from any personal injury by accident in the course of their employment or any occupational disease occurring in the service of that employer, unless termination is agreed to by the employee;
- full-time female employees during the period of maternity leave for the period of 5 weeks following the end of such maternity leave, during which she may be incapable of working owing to a post-natal pathological condition. The law, however, also introduces a measure to reward the employer for supporting such full-time female employees during their pregnancy by providing that if the employee does not resume work after the birth of her child or, having resumed work, terminates her employment without good and sufficient cause within 6 months of the resumption of work, she would liable to refund the wages received during the maternity leave availed of.
The employer is also prohibited from using the following circumstances as a “good and sufficient cause” for terminating the employment of any employee/s:
- the employee is a member of a trade union or has acted or is to act as the employees’ representative;
- the employee has filed a complaint or participated in proceedings against the employer involving any alleged violation of laws or regulations by such employer;
- the employee discloses information, whether confidential or otherwise, to a designated public regulating body, regarding alleged illegal or corrupt activities being committed by the employer or by persons acting in the employer’s name;
- the employee has contracted marriage;
- the business in which the employee is engaged has undergone a transfer of ownership, unless such termination is shown to be necessary for economic, technical or organisational reasons entailing changes in the workforce.
It is also noteworthy that, by contrast, persons employed on Maltese-flagged vessels are not afforded the protection of many of the provisions of Maltese law dealing with minimum conditions of employment.