Employee Representation and Industrial Relations – GVZH Advocates’ contribution to the ICLG to Employment & Labour Law 2013 Edition

Employee Representation and Industrial Relations

What are the rules relating to trade union recognition?

The law on trade unions is governed by the EIRA and the Trade Union Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 452.16). A trade union is defined as an organisation consisting wholly or mainly of employees and of which the principal purpose is to regulate by its rules, the relationship between employees and employers or employers’ associations.

In terms of Maltese law recognition means the expressed recognition of a registered trade union by an employer or by an employers association for the purposes of collective bargaining. While the law is silent on trade union recognition, the practice is that a union is entitled to sole recognition in a particular establishment if it has more than 50 per cent of employees in that establishment as it members. It is the employer and only the employer, who awards recognition to one or more unions, or refuses such recognition.

What rights do trade unions have?

In Malta the essential right of a trade union is to negotiate with an employer for the purposes of collective bargaining.

Trade unions may assist employees with matters such as termination and redundancy. Should an agreement not be reached between the employer and the employee, and the trade union feels that the termination was not justified, it would assist the employee in filing proceedings before the Industrial Tribunal or the Courts.

Are there any rules governing a trade union’s right to take industrial action?

There are currently no rules governing a trade union’s right to take action.

Are employers required to set up works councils?  If so, what are the main rights and responsibilities of such bodies?  How are works council representatives chosen/appointed?

Employers are not required to set up works council.

In what circumstances will a works council have co-determination rights, so that an employer is unable to proceed until it has obtained works council agreement to proposals?

Not applicable

How do the rights of trade unions and works councils interact?

Not Applicable

Are employees entitled to representation at board level?

No, this is not catered for in Maltese law.

Terms and Conditions of Employment


Maternity and Family Leave Rights

Business Sales

Termination of Employment

Protecting Business Interests Following Termination

Court Practice and Procedure

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Andrew J. Zammit

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