A Turkish gaming employee has been awarded compensation after he was illegally sacked for carrying out enhanced due diligence on two clients.
The Industrial Tribunal found that the justification given by the company for the termination was not according to law and the man was awarded €7,000 in compensation.
Baran Duman filed his claim before the Employment and Industrial Relations Tribunal after his employer, Tipbet Limited, with whom he worked for around two years, terminated his employment in December 2018.
He told the tribunal that he started working for the company on December 31, 2016, and was transferred to the fraud and payments department 10 months later. The company terminated his employment citing “poor work performance” and without giving him any warnings.
Through his lawyer, Robert Gauci Maistre, Duman claimed he was illegally sacked, insisting that the termination followed his request for more information from two clients while carrying out an enhanced due diligence as part of his duties.
Gauci Maistre argued that it was the gaming company which claimed that the cases had been referred to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), subjecting it to an investigation with the possibility of heavy fines or a revocation of their operational licence.
However, an MGA representative told the tribunal that the alleged complaints had never been received. Moreover, Duman had never received a warning from his employers.
Gauci Maistre said the poor work performance was also the reason given to four or five other employees who also had their employment terminated.
He argued that although the company cited a restructuring exercise, this had never been discussed or any proof brought forward to sustain this argument.
Tipbet lawyer Jacques Grima argued that Duman had closed the accounts of the two clients, in breach of company policies which could have escalated into an MGA investigation.
The tribunal, chaired by James Pearsall, found that the company had not taken any disciplinary action against its employee prior to resorting to termination and he was therefore not given the basic right to defend himself from the accusations made against him.
Moreover, the company could not take action against an employee for carrying out an enhanced due diligence which was deemed to be required.
It, therefore, found that Tipbet had breached employment regulations with the termination of Duman’s employment and ordered it to pay him a total of €7,000 in compensation.
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