The prospect of losing your job or getting unemployed is never an easy position to be in. Employment laws are there to ensure that any decision made by an employer in respect to termination of employment or, in respect to any matter that may directly or indirectly be linked to the rights and benefits of an employee is made in a fair and equitable manner. While this may be the case on paper, in practice this is not always the case.
Under the Employment Act, which essentially applies to all employers and employees irrespective of employment sector, accords specific rights to both employers and employees. It also prescribes remedies when those rights are breached. But sometimes, whilst being on the receiving end of a breach of an employment right, employees (and on more less common occasions, the employers) are not willing to contest the validity of such actions.
How we help clients
At Atoll Chambers, we empower individuals and business alike by assisting them in realizing and enforcing their rights under the employment laws. This includes advising and representing employees and employers in internal grievance proceedings as well as proceedings brought before the Employment Tribunal. Additionally, we also assist our corporate and business clients in strengthening and improving employee and HR-related policies, procedures and practices in compliance with developments of employment law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Except expressly excluded under law, any person who is employed in the Maldives whether in the private sector or the public sector, regardless of the duration, nature and type of employment, is broadly considered an employee and is entitled to the rights and protection accorded under the Maldives Employment Act.
Except for some exceptions, generally all foreign employees are entitled to the same rights as that of Maldivian employees. However, this does not necessarily mean that issues related to employment remain the same between a foreign employee and a local employee. Employers have to follow different legal requirements in dealing with local and foreign employees, and this in practice can sometimes lead to confusing situations.
The Employment Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body formed under the Maldives Employment Act which has the jurisdiction to hear all employment related claims on the first instance. The decision of the Employment Tribunal in a case may directly be appealed before the High Court of Maldives.
Any claim related to employment must be brought before the Employment Tribunal within 90 (ninety) days from the date of occurrence of the incident which gave rise to the claim and, in case of unfair dismissal or termination from employment, then within 90 (ninety) days from date of dismissal or termination.
The remedies awarded by the Employment Tribunal in a successful claim of unfair dismissal/termination from employment will depend on the specific nature and facts of the case. An employee maybe awarded with a reinstatement order along with pay for the duration which the employee had been terminated and losses. In other cases, if the employer successfully establishes grounds for employee to be not rehired, amidst a successful unfair dismissal or termination claim, damages may only be awarded.
Damages or compensation awarded to an aggrieved employee will depend on a number of factors including period of unemployment following termination, the effort made by the employee to find employment or to reduce losses amongst others will be considered.