Air Malta was found to have unjustly denied one of its employees the opportunity to apply for an internal call on the basis that the section she worked in was set to be hived off in the future.
This policy was changed – for the brief period it could still apply, given the imminent split – after the intervention of Ombudsman Anthony Mifsud, but no remedy was provided to the woman who was unfairly excluded from applying to a management position.
The woman was an Air Malta employee when an internal call for the post of ancillary revenue manager was made. However, the section she worked in – ground handling – was set to be hived off into a new government company, Air Malta Aviation Services.
She was only informed verbally of the decision to exclude her from applying for the post, which led the Ombudsman to question “the transparency of the process and the legitimacy of the reasons provided.” The airline steadfastly refused to justify its decision in writing, even when asked by the Ombudsman.
Ultimately, the Ombudsman concluded that Air Malta’s actions “amounted to an act of bad administration,” and asked the airline to provide an adequate remedy to the woman for the injustice suffered as a result of the decision “that could have negatively affected the complainant’s career progression.”
Since there was no guarantee that the woman would have been appointed to the post had she been allowed to apply for it, the Ombudsman could not recommend her appointment, or for her to be paid the difference in salary between her post and the one she applied to.
But since no remedy whatsoever was provided to the woman, he had to conclude that his recommendations were only partially implemented by Air Malta.