Court re­jects plans for ho­tel di­rec­tors to with­hold wages of man­ager pend­ing pub­lic apol­ogy

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Ho­tel di­rec­tors from Gozo have been fined €1,000 each and or­dered to pay €3,000 in un­paid salaries, bonuses and pub­lic hol­i­days for a sales man­ager who was pre­vi­ous em­ployed at the ho­tel.

The court heard how a mother and daugh­ter, Mary Rose Vella and Char­maine Vella with­held the salary be­cause they were ex­pect­ing an apol­ogy from the sales man­ager for al­legedly tar­nish­ing their rep­u­ta­tion. De­tails of how this took place did not emerge from the court judg­ment.

The pair were charged with fail­ing to pay Ian Scott Moyes wages worth €3,252. Moyes’ ter­mi­na­tion with the ho­tel al­legedly took place just six months af­ter be­ing cho­sen for the role.

Pre­sid­ing mag­is­trate Joe Mif­sud heard how Char­maine Vella, di­rec­tor of All Sea­sons Hol­i­days Ltd, the op­er­at­ing com­pany of the ho­tel, with­held the wages un­til Moyes de­liv­ered a pub­lic apol­ogy for the dam­age he caused to her fam­ily. In his con­sid­er­a­tions, Mif­sud noted how the fam­ily had pre­vi­ously faced ac­tion over fail­ing to pay their em­ploy­ees.

The courts had given the Vel­las three chances to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion of over­due wages, with Mif­sud re­mark­ing that be­yond this, con­tin­ued fail­ure to pay the agreed upon salary con­sti­tutes as ex­ploita­tion of work­ers.

In his con­clu­sions, Mif­sud urged au­thor­i­ties to warn po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees of those com­pa­nies who are known for fail­ing to pay their work­ers.

“... the com­pany, through its di­rec­tors, could never – in ac­cor­dance with law – tie pay­ment or oth­er­wise of the wages due to Moyes with an apol­ogy or any other con­di­tion.”

The court de­nounced the rel­e­vance of any back-story be­tween Moyes and the di­rec­tors.

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