In September 2020, the Parliament made several changes to the Employment Law in the Maldives. Initially, this was submitted to the government in 2019, but the Parliament has since made the changes in collaboration with the Maldives’ Social and Economic Affairs Committees.

Here are some of the key changes made to the Employment Law in the Maldives:

Employment Agreement

When a new employee joins the workplace, the employer must make them sign an employment agreement. The employment agreement must be given to all employees at the workplace. They have a time frame of three months to give this copy to all the workers present.

If an employment agreement does not get signed, penalties can range between MVR 2,000 to MVR 20,000, depending on the size of the employer’s business.

Probation Period

Each employee is put on probation when joining a new business. However, this may not last longer than three months. Keep in mind that the employment agreement can be terminated at any time by the employer or employee during the probation period without any prior notice.

According to section 32 of the Employment Act, employees must be given full rights during this period.

Redundancy

An employee can be laid off in certain circumstances: if a business shuts down, if it gets restructured, or if it faces financial hardship.

If redundancy is unavoidable, all employers must follow the rules and regulations laid down by the Employment Law. The manner of termination should be fair and just.

In case of dispute, the employer will have to show proof to prove the worker was made redundant in a fair manner and not because of any kind of discrimination or hate.

Sick Leave

Changes to the Employment Law in the Maldives

Each employee is given a sick leave of 30 days that he can use during the year. However, employers may ask employees to draw up a legitimate medical certificate from a medical practitioner before granting this leave. This is to ensure the verifiability of an employee’s leave request.

The good news is employees have up to 15 days to provide their employers with a medical certificate, as long as their sick leave is not more than two consecutive days.

Severance Package

For the first time in the Maldives, the law is recognizing the need for a severance package upon termination from employment. This means that if an employee has been working in the same workplace for less than a year, he is eligible to receive one month’s salary or notice.

For tenure between 1 to 4 years, the employer must give the employee a three-month notice or three months’ salary.

To know more about employment laws around the world, click here.