Termination and Notice Period
The employment of a person based on an indefinite contract may be terminated either by the employer or the employee. In this case, after notification of the termination of employment, the employee would have to work a notice period. 
The duration of the notice period depends on the employee’s continuous length of service in the same employment:

  • More than one month and up to six months - one week
  • More than six months and up to two years -   two weeks
  • More than two years and up to four years -   four weeks
  • More than four years and up to seven years - eight weeks
  • More than seven years and up to eight years - nine weeks
  • More than eight years and up to nine years - ten weeks
  • More than nine years and up to ten years -   eleven weeks
  • More than ten years - twelve weeks

In the case of technical, administrative, executive or managerial posts, longer periods may be agreed by the employer and employee. However, if the employment is terminated during its probationary period, only one week notice applies, given that the employee has been in employment for more than one month.

Performance of Work during Notice Period

Notice may be given by the employer to the employee or vice versa. It indicates the intention of the termination of employment. If the employee fails to give notice s/he shall be liable to pay to the employer a sum equal to half the wages that would be payable in respect of the period of notice that is not worked.

Upon receiving notice, the employee may choose to cease performing work on receiving notice from the employer, the employer is obliged to pay the employee a sum equal to half the wages that would be payable in respect of the unexpired period of notice. However, if after giving notice, the employee fails to work during the notice period, s/he will be obliged to pay his/her employer a sum equal to half the wages that would be payable in respect of the unexpired period of notice.

If the employee is not given the chance to work the notice, the employer would be obliged to pay the employee a sum equal to full wages that would be payable in respect of the unexpired period of notice. 

Without prejudice to what may be due in respect of notice, the employee is entitled to be paid on a proportional basis according to the period of employment, for all outstanding wages, overtime, leave, bonuses etc, due to him/her as at the date of termination.

Termination of a definite contract

Where there is no justified reason to terminate an employment that is on definite basis, the party who breaches the contract is liable to pay the other party a sum equal to half the full wages that would have accrued had the contract of employment remained in force. 

Unjust Termination

An employment can be terminated without notice or obligation to compensate for notice when the length of service is not longer than one month, or when there is a good and sufficient cause (eg. disciplinary action, health reasons etc). An employee who alleges unfair dismissal can lodge a complaint to the Industrial Tribunal within four months from the termination of employment.

Cedric Mifsud graduated as lawyer from the University of Malta in 2003 and was subsequently admitted to the bar in Malta. He later specialised in European Law particularly focus on Competition law. Upon qualifying he joined a leading firm in Malta as a litigation lawyer. In 2007 together with his brother, Malcolm, he co-founded Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates. Cedric set up the Corporate and Commercial Department of the firm making the firm one of the leading business law firms in Malta. Part of the Corporate and Commercial Department includes the Maritime Practice which has a considerable portfolio of Superyachts and Commercial Vessels.
Charlene obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree in 2016 and is currently reading for Master of Advocacy at the University of Malta. She joined Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates as a legal trainee in 2015 and is mainly responsible for vetting contracts, shipping registration, legal research and drafting, and other general corporate duties.
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