Tribunal awards former construction site supervisor €9,000 for unfair dismissal

An industrial tribunal has ruled in favour of a former employee of a construction company who was unfairly dismissed from his job on the premise that works were completed

The industrial tribunal has ordered a construction company to pay compensation to a former employee
The industrial tribunal has ordered a construction company to pay compensation to a former employee

A former site supervisor has won €8,824 in compensation from the construction company that terminated his job after an industrial tribunal ruled it was an unjust dismissal.

The employment was terminated before the project he was working on was completed.

The tribunal, presided by Joseph Gerada, ordered Ta’ Kandja Construction Ltd to compensate 64-year-old Anthony Gambin after hearing how the project he had been working on was still incomplete, six months after his dismissal.

Despite the construction company’s claim that the works had been finished, the tribunal noted that the evidence before it showed that plastering, tiling and finishing works were still pending, and had remained so for at least six months after the man’s employment was terminated.

Another man working on the site had testified that at the time when Gambin was dismissed, although the building was finished, there were still rooms that had to be plastered and still needed tiles.

Gambin had been working with the company since 2018, having been engaged on an indefinite contract to supervise the construction of a youth drug rehabilitation centre for Caritas Malta.

In January 2021, Ta’ Kandja Construction director Renato Vidal had informed Gambin that he was being made redundant because the work was complete. Gambin filed the proceedings, arguing that this was not the case. 

His job as site supervisor consisted of noting every person and vehicle which entered the Ta’ Kandja construction compound and account for construction material and installations. This involved filling in forms handed to him by a Construct Furniture employee, who was supposed to ensure that there was no theft of supplies. There had never been any reports of thefts, he said, but directors Renato Vidal and Simon Muscat had told him to investigate some thefts and find out who was responsible.

Gambin told the tribunal that he was not aware of anything being stolen, much less who was behind it. He claimed that his employers had suspected him of covering up for the thief and had got rid of him by making him redundant whilst claiming that there was no more work to be done on the site.

The tribunal, in view of the evidence which showed that the project was clearly not complete at the time of Gambin’s dismissal, upheld the claim and ordered the plaintiff’s former employer to pay him €8,824 in compensation.

Lawyer David Gatt appeared for the man.