Decision number 2257 of the Industrial Tribunal, in the names of Dr Victor Zammit vs Euris Consult Limited, highlighted how important it is to follow disciplinary procedures when such procedures have been established.
Dr Zammit, a translator employed with Euris Consult, had his employment with the company terminated and the reasons given were that he was neither executing his duties to the best of his ability, nor with professionalism and diligence, and certainly without dedication. Dr Zammit on the other hand stated that he was dismissed from work without any formal warning or prior complaint about his level of work.
During the sittings, Dr Zammit brought to the Tribunal’s attention the fact that the employing company had in place an office manual, which contained the procedure for any disciplinary action. In fact the manual stated that “Prior to taking any disciplinary action against an employee, a disciplinary hearing shall be heard.” The manual also dictated the procedure to be followed during the disciplinary hearing.
While the Tribunal noted that Dr Zammit was not the ideal employee, and that in fact various mistakes were made by him which under different circumstances might have resulted in proper dismissal, the shortcoming here was however attributable to Euris Consult which did not follow the disciplinary procedures it had established.
Further, the Tribunal deemed this to be major shortcoming as the employee was not given an opportunity to be heard nor to defend himself from the allegations which the company was making in his regard. Finally, the Tribunal found Euris Consult to be in breach of employment law regulations and granted Dr Zammit €7,900 as compensation for unfair dismissal.
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