Employment Newsletter Q2 – June 2020

Welcome to the second GVZH Employment Newsletter!

We trust that this newsletter finds you better that the first one did, and we hope that the worst of COVID is behind us.

Amongst other matters, in this newsletter we will tackle the subject of policies and how important it is to have a full range of policies implemented at your business. As you may be well aware, Maltese Employment law is silent on a number of matters, especially disciplinary procedures. It is for this reason that clients are encouraged to implement and follow policies.

We will also tackle issues pertaining to COVID-19 and the legal implications which are concerning employers in a time where employees are returning to work with mitigation measures in place to safeguard employees’ health. Most are asking about the health and safety obligations of employers and the data protection obligations with regards to processing health data as employers.

We hope you find this newsletter informative and useful.

Best regards,

The GVZH Employment Law Team

The intent behind this newsletter is purely to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice.

Why Should an Employer have Policies in Place?

Along the years, policies have become an essential part of well-structured and professional organisations, as they provide direction and guidelines for the day to day operations of the company. Currently, Maltese laws do not oblige companies to incorporate policies as part of their operations. However, this  is increasingly becoming a practice which is highly recommended by both lawyers and the Industrial Tribunal.

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Health & Safety Obligations of Employers – how has COVID-19 affected such?

Maltese law establishes that it is the duty of an employer to ensure the health and safety of all persons who may be affected by the work being carried out for such employer at all times. However, can an employer be held liable for employee contracting COVID-19 at the workplace? What happens if employees refuse to come back to work due to fear of catching the virus?

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Disclosure of Improper Practice Within the Workplace – Employee protection

In order for one to be able to safely raise such concerns of wrongdoing, the Protection of the Whistleblower Act obliges the employer to have internal procedures in place with respect to both receiving and dealing with information regarding improper practice carried out within the workplace.

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When Can an Employer Process Health Data under the GDPR?

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the processing of health data. When can such data be processed? This especially in light of the fact that employers are obliged to implement mitigation measures to ensure the safety of employees at the workplace.

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