The Supreme Court annulled a first instance decision and clarified the case-law on the application of the Protection of Wages Law in criminal cases, following appeal by our client

7th Aug 2018

We represented our client in a criminal case that was filed against his employer due to the non-payment of his wages, and succeeded in annulling a first instance decision which acquitted the Respondents.

The Respondents were charged with 38 criminal charges for breach of the Cyprus Protection of Wages Law (N. 35(I)/2007). The question before the Court of first instance was whether and to what extent the Respondents had breached their statutory obligation to provide the Claimant with his monthly remuneration. The First Instance Court held that the disputed issues were not confined to the non-payment of the Claimant’s remuneration but extended to other aspects relating to the interpretation and application of the employment contracts, the employment conditions and the Claimant’s benefits and duties under the employment contracts. For this reason, the First Instance Court found that since the issues in question (i.e. the working terms and benefits) were complex and had not been crystallised, the Respondents should be acquitted in all charges.

The Supreme Court, annulling the decision of the Court of First Instance, held that the Court of first instance had an obligation to assess all available evidence adduced by the parties, review the terms of the employment contracts, ascertain the amount of wages and other benefits that the Appellant was entitled to under the contracts of employment and finally decide whether the Respondents had fulfilled their statutory obligations or not. The Supreme Court also stressed that the Court of First Instance was wrong in its finding that its criminal jurisdiction was limited only to disputes where the employment conditions have been crystallized. As a result, the appeal was successful, the acquittal was overturned, and a retrial was ordered.

For more information please contact partner Yiannis Karamanolis.

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