The annual Malta Employment Law Conference 2019, which was hosted by Fenech & Fenech Advocates, was the perfect opportunity for Broadwing and similar firms to stay abreast of the ever-changing employment environment.
The conference featured an unparalleled variety of speakers, experts in their respective fields.
The first panel discussion raised was that of ‘HR and the Law: How many hats do you wear’?
The experts discussed many points in detail, including loyalty, confidentiality, conflict and policies amongst other things. However, the main take-away from the discussion was that there is a fine line for HR managers. This refers to the act of distinguishing between loyalty one feels towards an employee, who has come forward and expressed their feelings and concerns, and one’s responsibility to divulge the information they have received.
The discussion was an open one, as many HR managers took the opportunity to ask lawyers of the Fenech & Fenech firm for advice on local employment law. The latter used several real-life examples in their answers, often even referring to specific court cases, making the discussion relatable as well as interesting.
Following a quick coffee break the conference commenced, with attendees being presented with a case study. The study concerned a South African, married to a Swiss national, who had been offered a job in Malta. Due to the case being fictional, it included a range of issues HR managers are faced with from time to time, including: probation, dismissal, psychological bullying, record retention, long term illness, disability, fringe benefits and GDPR, so as to have a free-flowing discussion concerning all of these issues.
With countless foreign workers, both from EU countries as well as those outside of the EU, working and settling in Malta, the demands placed on HR managers are more complex and challenging than ever before. A second case study involving a Polish national who experienced harassment, victimization, employee relocation and more, further emphasised this as it was made clear that each and every situation must be analysed on a case by case basis. In order to find solutions, cookie-cutter type solutions may not necessarily apply to all.
During the final hour of the seminar, the expert panel of speakers provided attendees with a legal update, regarding issues including vacation leave, payslips, agency workers, tribunal TUPE, which refers to the transfer of undertakings and protection of employment, and tax and new amendments, which the government will be implementing over the coming months.
For more details on the conference and employment law in Malta, click here.
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