The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Couple file judicial protest claiming unfair dismissal by Sadeen Education Investment Ltd

Friday, 20 October 2017, 15:07 Last update: about 3 years ago

A couple from Belgium today filed a judicial protest against Sadeen Education Investment Ltd, who run the American University of Malta, and the Attorney General over what they claim was an unfair dismissal in breach of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Gerardo Donati and Chiara Ludovica Battistelli lived in Belgium up until June 2017.

Battistelli signed a consultation contract with the company for the period between 15 February and 31 May this year, to organise the student admissions office, and to attract students to the university.


She conducted her work from Belgium, but came to Malta each month for three days each time, and protest read.

After the consultancy contract expired, the protest read that Battistelli was given an employment contract for a fixed three years, from 1 June this year, as the director of the admissions with a €52,500 a year salary, in addition to benefits including health insurance and paid education for her son.

The application read that this contract was subject to a six-month trial period.

In order to conduct her work, the protest read that she came to live in Malta, together with her family, and rented a home in Marsascala. Her husband, Donati, left his job in Belgium, where he worked as a manager in a financial firm, to be with his family in Malta. Their son began attending a Maltese school.

The applicants argued that despite Battistelli diligently conducting her work, and her success in attracting a number of students to the university, allowing it to start its first year, she was told that her employment would be terminated on 4 September this year, without being given a reason for said termination.

The applicants argued that since this termination occurred within the trial period, she has no remedy according to the industrial laws in Malta.

The applicants argued that the company acted abusively and caused serious damages to the applicants.  They argue that the very fact that they have no remedies according to the country’s industrial laws is a violation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

They are requesting payment for damages.

The judicial protest was filed by lawyer Joseph Ellis on behalf of the couple.


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