Injured worker's job termination ruled illegal

A chambermaid was awarded Lm1,300 (€3,028) in compensation after an industrial tribunal ruled that her employment at a hotel had been terminated while she was on injury leave.

Carmen Borg initiated a case before the Industrial Tribunal against her former employer Ramla Garden Hotel.

She explained that she had been working at the hotel, as a chambermaid, since 1977. In February 2003 she injured her back while at work.

The tribunal, chaired by Harold Walls, heard how it resulted that she had suffered serious injuries and eventually even had to undergo a serious operation.

Although Ms Borg had tried to go to work immediately after the accident, the pain did not allow her to and she went out on sick leave. Once her sick leave expired she was placed on half-pay and, when that expired, in April 2003 her employment was terminated.

After evaluating the circumstances, the tribunal ruled that since Ms Borg had been injured at work she was to be placed on injury leave and not sick leave.

This meant that, once her employment had been terminated when she was to be on injury leave, the termination was illegal.

Although the tribunal did not order that Ms Borg be given her job back, it ordered her former employer to pay her Lm1,300 in compensation.

Lawyer Anglu Farrugia appeared for Ms Borg while the hotel was represented by lawyer Paul Gauci Maistre.