Job Contracts in Gibraltar

Information on job contracts in Gibraltar. Find out about the different types of contract and what should be included in an employment contract...

Gibraltar has a very similar employment system to the United Kingdom so employment contracts are close to what one would expect to find in the UK.

The employment relationship between the employer and employee is governed and regulated by an employment contract. Employers have a duty to take care of an employee's safety under common law while employees have a duty of confidentiality to their employer.

Not all contracts of employment need to be in writing; however, it is mandatory that:

  • A written statement of terms and conditions about the employment is provided to the employee
  • The employment must be registered with the Employment and Training Board at the Ministry of Employment

Contracts are usually offered with detailed conditions and obligations of the employment relationship including:

  • Salary / hourly rate
  • Duties
  • Hours
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Appointment date and duration
  • Place of work
  • Over-time rate

Other job-specific conditions of the employment may require contracts to include company policies or stipulations relating to:

  • Confidentiality
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Expenses
  • Benefits (such as company car or health insurance)
  • Bonuses
  • Gardening leave (this refers to work arrangements during a notice period; the employer may prefer the employee not work during a notice period although full pay still applies)
  • Non-statutory sick pay
  • Data protection
  • Intellectual property rights

Throughout the working relationship it is implied that both parties have a duty of mutual trust towards one another.

Types of Work Contract

Contracts can be given on a fixed or indefinite term as well as on a part-time or full-time basis.

Full-time / Part-time

Employees working under a full-time or part-time contract are entitled to:

  • Statutory minimum level of holiday
  • Payslip showing deductions
  • Statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • Statutory sick pay
  • Maternity and adoption leave
  • Salary equating to minimum wage or above

Part-time workers are entitled to the same contractual rights and benefits as full-time employees.

Permanent contracts

Employees on permanent contracts are regular employees of the business on contracts of no fixed duration.

Temporary / Fixed term contracts

Fixed-term contracts last for a pre-determined length of time and often terminate after an objective has been completed or a specific event takes place.

Temporary workers are entitled to the same rights as permanent staff. They can also receive the same benefits as full-time workers if the contract runs for long enough for the benefits to apply.

Agency workers working continuously for 12 weeks or more are entitled to the same employment conditions as if they had a direct contract with the employer. However, they are not necessarily entitled to receive sick pay, maternity payments, pension payments or redundancy.

Points of Note

If an employer wishes to change the terms and conditions within an employment contract, the ETB and the employee must be notified within seven days. The Employment Regulations on 2005 (Information and Consultation of Employees) dictates that businesses with over 50 employees wishing to make changes to the T&Cs must involve the employees in the decision-making process.

Average working hours including overtime calculated over a period of 17 weeks must not exceed 48 hours unless the employee has chosen to contract out of the 2000 Working Time Act.

Notice period

The first week of any employment is a probationary period and can be legally terminated at the end of the week. After the first week the notice period is governed by the length of service and the pay frequency as detailed below:

Employees

  • Paid monthly: minimum of one month's notice
  • Paid weekly or fortnightly: one week's notice

Employers

  • Monthly: minimum of one month for up to 8 years service, two months for 8 to 10 years service and three months for 10+ years.
  • Weekly or fortnightly: minimum of one week for less than 2 years, two weeks for 2 to 5 years, four weeks for 5 to 8 years, eight weeks for 8 to 10 years and 13 weeks for 10+ years.

If one party neglects to give the requisite notice, they are legally bound to pay the other party a sum equal to the amount of wages payable in that period.

A contract can be terminated without a notice period being worked if there is “good and sufficient cause” such as gross misconduct. The employer must register a notice of termination with the ETB within seven days.

On the early cancellation of a fixed-term contract, the terminating party must pay the other compensation equal to 50 percent of the remaining remuneration.

Social Security

A detailed source of information for workers and their rights to social security payments can be found on the Gibraltar government website.

Trade Unions

Unite The Union is the largest trade union in Gibraltar with a membership in excess of 4,000 workers, representing a wide spectrum of professions in both the public and private sector.