The employer will inevitably face issues that relate to the performance or behaviour of its employees. An employee may either underperform or may fail to meet the standards set or required by the employer. An employee may also make errors or even act negligently in the performance of his duties.
The manner in which the employer reacts to and manages such issues is a crucial and central aspect of the employer’s human resources management. The gravity of such disciplinary matters will vary and range from the petty to the grossly negligent. The interplay of various factors and circumstances will render it impossible for each disciplinary matter to be handled in the same manner.
The employer should be reasonable, transparent and proportionate in the way it addresses disciplinary matters within its organisation. The employer should give clear, comprehensive and adequate notice of any warning that it may deem necessary to give to an employee. It is advisable that all warnings are given in writing, and that any initial verbal warnings are subsequently recorded in writing.
An employer should treat a warning as an opportunity for the offending or non-compliant employee to rectify his behaviour and performance, rather than as a mere punishment. As such, a warning should provide comprehensive details of a breach, the manner in which the employee is expected to address such shortcomings, as well as a time period or stages for the employee to rectify the situation, depending on the circumstances and gravity of a particular case. An employer should also afford its employees an opportunity to be heard by the employer, and to react to and discuss any warning that is given by the employer.
The nature and extent of any disciplinary measure that an employer proposes to impose on an employee should be proportionate to the gravity of such employee’s conduct, and should take account of the previous behaviour or performance of the employee as well as any other specific factors and circumstances that the employer would need to consider to address the situation in a reasonable and fair manner.
Adopting and implementing clearly written disciplinary policies and procedures may be a useful tool for the employer to establish clear parameters and standards of behaviour and performance of its employees, as well as to enforce a fair, transparent and proportionate disciplinary system amongst its employees.
Formal disciplinary policies and procedures may, for instance, outline the various scenarios in which disciplinary measures may be taken against an offending employee, the types of disciplinary measures that may be prescribed and taken by the employer, as well as the procedures and steps to be followed in relation to the imposition of any such disciplinary measures.
Such a document would benefit both the employer and the employee by increasing the transparency of the manner in which the employer deals with disciplinary matters, and by providing guidance and clarity to both parties as to the various procedures to be followed by each party in relation to disciplinary matters that may arise from time to time.
At Empleo, we provide legal advice to employers on the best disciplinary practices to adopt and implement in light of the particular nature of their business and staff complement. We are also able to assist employers in the preparation of tailored disciplinary policies and procedures, and advise employers on the handling of specific employee disciplinary cases.
Some of our services in this area include the following:
You may get in touch with us here to request an initial free legal consultation in relation to any of the matters outlined above.
Mariella graduated from the University of Malta with a doctorate in law in 2005. She completed a master’s degree in ‘European Private Law’ from the La Sapienza, University of Rome, and was admitted to the bar in Malta in 2006.
Mariella is a people person – and it is this attribute which has really characterised and shaped her career.
Over the years, she headed the legal departments of several corporate services firms. Due to her skillset, she was also entrusted with managing and overseeing operations and human resources, where she gained technical and practical experience in various corporate, commercial and employment matters.
Her practical hands-on experience and insight perfectly complement Mariella’s technical knowledge of employment law, thus placing her in an ideal position to understand and advise employers and employees alike on various matters that may arise at the workplace.
Mariella is passionate about employment law matters and provides her clients with the highest-quality legal service to achieve the best possible outcome and resolve any employment law related issues and concerns.
Bradley graduated Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2005 and was admitted to the Bar in Malta in 2006. He advises clients on various corporate, commercial, employment and regulatory matters, with particular focus on company and financial services law.
He has assisted clients in various corporate and commercial matters by providing company law advice and assisting in the implementation of corporate finance, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and similar transactions.
Bradley has also advised and assisted investment funds, fund managers and other investment services providers, banks and financial institutions, on various legal and regulatory matters relating to the setting up, authorisation and ongoing conduct of their activities in Malta.
His practice also covers general employment law matters. Bradley’s experience in company and financial services law enables him to focus on various corporate and regulatory aspects of employment relationships. In particular, he advises organisations on the implementation of employee share option and participation schemes, the implications of business transfers on employment relationships, as well as relations with senior employees.
Karl graduated Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2005 and was admitted to the Bar in Malta in 2006.
Karl has gained considerable expertise in technology law and regularly assists clients in relation to intellectual property issues, commercial contracts and ways to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy laws. Whilst such matters used to be only given incidental importance when dealing with employment matters, they are now widely acknowledged to be vital in all employment relationships.
He is also regularly engaged by C-level executives to assist in negotiating employment contracts and settlement agreements.
Karl advises across a multitude of industries including technology; marketing; adtech; financial services; gaming; esports; consumer products; and media and telecommunications.