The principal form of remuneration that is payable by an employer to an employee is the wage, which must be paid by the employer to the employee in money being legal tender in Malta and in an amount that corresponds at least to the statutory minimum wage applicable to such employee.
The law sets out various rules relating to the protection of wages. Wages must be paid at regular intervals which, as a general rule, may not exceed four weeks in arrears. An employer is also required to pay his full-time employees statutory bonuses in such amounts and at such intervals as may be prescribed from time to time. The law precludes an employer from imposing any terms restricting the manner in which an employee may spend or use any wages, and any such terms will be null and void. The law also prohibits the assignment of wages and limits the attachment of wages to certain specified instances.
An employee’s wage constitute a privileged claim over the assets of the employer and must be paid in preference to all other claims, whether privileged or hypothecary, if an employee makes a claim in respect of a maximum of three months of the current wage payable by the employer to the employee, and compensation for leave to which the employee is entitled to, together with any compensation due to the employee in consideration of termination of employment, or any notice thereof.
The law also prohibits deductions from wages, except in certain limited circumstances that are permitted by applicable law. By way of example, an employer may deduct fines where the terms of a signed written employment contract or statement specify in detail the fines to which the employee may become liable in respect of an act or omission, and provided that such terms have been previously approved by the Department for Industrial and Employment Relations (or DIER).
Where an employee fails without just cause to give to his employer the total number of hours of work as bound by the terms of the employment contract, an employer may deduct wages from the total wages due to the employee, corresponding to the work so lost, rather than giving him a fine.
Apart from paying wages to his employees for their services, an employer may also offer other incentives to his employees. Such incentives may take various forms, and may be driven by a number of priorities and considerations on the employer’s part, such as to further incentivise the workforce and to instil employee loyalty.
Such incentives may take the form of revenue sharing arrangements, bonuses, pension schemes, share option arrangements, insurance coverage, and various forms of discounts or other benefits in kind.
In such cases, it is important for the terms regulating the enjoyment of such incentives or benefits to be clearly set out, whether in the employment contract or in any other agreement or document as may be appropriate.
At Empleo, we provide legal advice to employers on all matters outlined above, including advice on employers’ obligations relating to the payment of wages, as well as advice and assistance in relation to the establishment of benefit and incentive schemes or arrangements for employees.
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.