Employment and Industrial Relations Law
Illegal Employment in Gozo
The Court of Magistrates has recently decided a case which, has been brought by the police against two directors of a restaurant in Gozo. The legal action has been brought against the directors for failing to pay an employee, the amount of almost €3,000 due to the employee for wages, overtime worked, bonuses and vacation leave with respect to the period from the 1st July to the 10th August, 2013, when the employment had been suddenly terminated.
Since the directors and the employee had not signed a contract of employment and the competent authorities have not been notified of the employment, the Court has stated that the said employment is “clandestine”.
The Court has also pointed out that the bad practice of illegally employing individuals is adopted by several “unscrupulous” employers who “use(..) and dump(..)” the same individuals. As stated by the Court, this practice is shameful and inhumane.
In view of this:
- One of the above-mentioned directors has been condemned to pay the above-mentioned employee the amount of €2,928, and
- He has also been conditionally discharged for a period of 12 months.
Moreover, the Court has ordered the Police Commissioner to take legal action against the same director for the offence of perjury. On the other hand, the other director has been cleared of all charges as the Court has ascertained that he has not been involved in the day-to-day running of the company.