Minimum Wage – Amendments the employer should be aware of
News    ·   04-07-2017

AUTHOR: Ron Galea Cavallazzi, Marisa Vella, Edward Mizzi

A recent amendment to the National Minimum Wage National Standard Order (SL 452.71) now entitles employees receiving statutory minimum wage to a top-up of up to €6 per week. The law applies to all those employees receiving statutory minimum wage and who, on the 28 April 2017, would have completed at least one year of employment with the same employer. 

This top-up (termed as “mandatory supplements”) comes in two tranches – the first upon completion of the first year of employment where the employee receives a top-up of €3 per week; and the second upon completion of the second year of employment where the employee is entitled to a further €3 per week, therefore acquiring a total top-up of €6 per week from the third year of employment. In order to benefit from these mandatory supplements, the employee would have had to remain in employment with the “same employer” (which includes other entities within the same group of companies of the original employer) throughout the entire mentioned durations. Very interestingly, this is the first time the law has widened the notion of employer to include other companies within a group.

Another interesting addition is that upon the expiration of a definite contract of employment, an employer may not replace an employee receiving minimum wage (and therefore entitled to the mandatory supplements) but is legally obliged to re-employ such employee unless there is a good and sufficient cause not to. Similar to redundancy, if the post previously occupied by the employee becomes available again within one year from the date of termination of employment, then the employer must first offer the post to the previous employee.  

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