Legal Notice 267 of 2022, the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Regulations transposed the EU Directive 2019/1152 on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions in the European Union. These regulations outline the working conditions applicable to every worker in the European Union who has an employment contract or employment relationship as defined by law, collective agreements, or practice in force in each Member State. However, some provisions do not apply for seafarers or sea fisherman.
The regulations updated the employer’s obligations to inform employees of the conditions applicable to their work contract or their employment relationship to keep in line with the ever-evolving world of work. The employer has further obligations to provide the basic conditions of employment outlined in the regulations, and all the terms and references of the employment relationship between the employer and employee. This must be done in writing and made available to the employee by not later than 7 calendar days from the commencement date of the employment. In the absence of this, the employee has the right to complain to the national authority which will in turn ask the employer to provide the information to the employee. The employer is bound to provide the information to the national authority when requested to do so.
The employer must also keep an updated record for each worker which shall include a copy of the written contract, any changes made to the conditions of employment and other requirements outlined in the regulations. However, it is important to note that unless there is a change of laws, regulations or collective agreements, the conditions of employment cannot be altered after the commencement date of the employment.
These regulations also specify that zero-hour contracts are generally prohibited. However, they are permitted when the employee is a full-time student, or when the nature of the activity of the work to be carried out requires employees to be replaced within a short period. Besides this, the regulations stipulate that if the employer is required to provide training to the employees, he shall bear the responsibility to provide for a training programme and take care of the costs involved.
Moreover, an employee has the right to take up parallel employment provided it is outside the work schedule. Nevertheless, the employer may prohibit the parallel employment due to issues of conflict of interest, the integrity of public service, health and safety concerns, and because of Business confidentiality.
In addition, the regulations provide for the minimum predictability of work. Where the pattern of work of any employee is mostly unpredictable, the employer may oblige the employee to fulfil his tasks provided that the work is performed within the timeframe agreed upon, and the employee is informed in advance of the tasks to be carried out. The regulations delve into the defined parameters on the amount of reasonable notice. Albeit this, the employee has the right to request for more predictable and secure working conditions when the probationary not exceeding 6 months, is fulfilled by the employee.
The regulations conclude by providing the employee with the right to dispute resolution and to redress, if the employee’s rights outlined in these regulations are infringed. The employee who lodges such complaint shall be protected because if the employer acts to victimize any employee or any employee’s representative, this is deemed to be unlawful.
This protection also extends to unfair dismissal. In fact, where an employee is dismissed because he refused to comply with a requirement that the employer imposed which goes against these regulations, that dismissal shall be deemed to be an unfair dismissal. As a result, the employee may request the reason for dismissal, and if the employee establishes the facts before the Tribunal, the burden of proof will lay with the employer.
Non-compliance with these regulations is deemed to be an offence and will lead to a fine (multa) of not less than €450.
written by Dr Charlene Gauci and Dr Jodie Darmanin
For more information you can contact one of our Team Members at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates.