Information about the DIER

Information regarding the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations
(persuant to Article 17 of the Freedom of Information Act)

 
Click here​ ​to access the Organisational Chart
 
 
Mission Statement, Functions & Structure

The mission statement of the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations (DIER) is to protect the interests of workers holding employment contracts while, in a spirit of social partnership, actively promote a healthy relationship and contribute towards stable industrial relations.  This remit is achievable through the enforcement of the Employment and Industrial Relations Act (EIRA), which was approved by Parliament in December 2002 and set out the framework for the adoption of the EU Labour Acquis.  It also established the responsibilities of the Director responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this Act and subsidiary legislation.  The Director thus has overall responsibility for the functions carried out by the Department, which are hereby described:
  • Provision of effective machinery for the establishment of standard conditions of employment, in consultation with the social partners, and their eventual promulgation as legal instruments;
  • Provision of the necessary monitoring and enforcement of employment conditions as established by law;
  • Regulating employment contracts in an equitable manner so as to ensure that rights and obligations pertaining to each party in the contract are observed;
  • Protection of workers whose employment relationship has been terminated by an employer;
  • Eliminating discriminatory practices;
  • Provision of support services to the Industrial Tribunal, Guarantee Fund Administration Board and Employment Relations Board;
  • Provision of effective mediation and conciliation in order to reduce industrial actions and trade disputes;
  • Promotion of good relationship between employers’ and workers’ representatives.
     
The Director, Industrial & Employment Relations being also the Head of Department is thus responsible for the whole strategic overview of the Department’s operations and functions.  She is aided by four Assistant Directors who are each responsible for the three branches that compose the DIER.  The Director’s office is in addition responsible for:
  • Registration of Trade Unions;
  • Provision of machinery for the voluntary settlement of trade disputes in terms of the Act and promoting such settlement;
  • Preparation of draft employment legislation.
     
The above-mentioned branches respectively deal with Administarion; International Affairs and Industrial Relations; Labour Research and IT; Inspectorate and Customer Care; and Terminations and Legal Office.
 
International Affairs and Industrial Relations, falling under the responsibility of an Assistant Director.
 
The International Relations and Industrial Relations Branch tasks are mainly to:
  • Coordinate closely with local associations or organisations which have a role to fulfil in protecting the interests of parties engaged under an employment contract;
  • Maintain contacts at technical level with Governments and other international bodies including the E.U. and the International Labour Organisation.
  • Registry of Trade Unions and Employers Associations

Labour Research and IT, falling under the responsibility of an Assistant Director.

The Labour Research and IT Branch having responsibility for Labour Research, Library and Archives, Publications, the Departmental website and Employment Agencies.
 
Enforcement , falling under the responsibility of two Assistant Directors , carrying out the core enforcement functions of the Department. Enforcement is composed of  two sections carried out by two branches: the Terminations and Legal office; and Inspectorate and Customer Care.
 
• The Terminations and Legal  Office investigates complaints of clients primarily related to employees whose employment has been terminated, whether of their own accord or by the employer.  The Terminations Section is also responsible for referral of cases to the Law Courts. 
• The Inspectorate and Customer Care is responsible for monitoring conditions of employment and processing complaints of workers who are still in employment.  This involves an ongoing programme of inspections to target particular sectors or to investigate specific complaints.  Complaints can be received directly from the person concerned, through correspondence, email or even anonymously.  It also processes general queries from the public regarding employment conditions.
 
Administration, falling under the responsibility of an Assistant Director providing administrative support services to the whole Department including the administration of the department’s budget, revenue and expenditure, issuance and adjustment of salaries and honoraria payments to Board members, administration of PMPs, progressions, allowances, Engine Driver licenses, the departmental inventory, supplies’ stores etc.  Through its Green Leader, this Branch also oversees environmental issues within the DIER.  Other tasks taken up by this Branch include the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and health and safety issues at Departmental level.
 
Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act
The DIER’s administrative offices are at No. 121, Melita Street, Valletta.  Any Freedom of Information related application or complaint delivered by hand should hence be forwarded to this address where the offices of Mr Alistair-Paul Borg, Freedom of Information Officer (FOIO) and Ms Karen Theuma, alternate FOIO are situated.  

Working hours are between 0700hrs and 1600hrs for the period 1st October to 15th June and between 0700hrs and 1300hrs for the summer period between 16th June and 30th September.  Communication may also be carried out by e-mail on info.dier@gov.mt​ by submitting the following application: FOI Request Form

A request can also be submitted online through www.foi.gov.mt
If an applicant for information is in this regard unsatisfied with the reply received from the DIER, s/he may forward a complaint in terms of the Department’s Internal Complaints Procedure.  This applies if the Department fails to meet the deadlines or send the relevant notifications.  A complaint may therefore be lodged by filling the Internal Complaints Procedure Form and forward it to the FOIO at No. 121, Melita Street, Valletta.  The FOIO will eventually inform the complainant about the outcome of his/her complaint, informing about the possibility to lodge an appeal with the Information and Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) in accordance with Articles 9 (Fees) and 23 of the Freedom of Information Act, Cap. 496.
 
Categories of Documents held by the DIER
 
Director's Office - Documentation on National Policy formulation, Internal Policies, Trade Disputes and Registration of Trade Unions and Employers Associations.
 
International Affairs and Industrial Relations  -  Documentation regarding EU and ILO matters, Verification of Trade Unions.
 
Labour Research and IT - Documentation regarding Labour Research and Employment Agencies.
 
Enforcement Branches - Documentation regarding Inspectorate and Terminations queries and investigations, Employers' inspected and under investigation, Director's Permits, Approvals and Authorisations (Authorisation in respect of Fines [Article 19 of EIRA], Permissions for the employment of Minors [L.N. 440 of 2003], Approvals for temporary less favourable conditions of employment [Article 42 of EIRA]), Notifications to Director (Posting of Workers, Collective Redundancies, etc)
 
Administration Branch -  Personal Files and documentation relating to Procurement, Accounts, Travel and HR matters. Documentation relating to Engine Driver licences and Self-Employed Loan Scheme.  Industrial Tribunal related documentation.