Nov 18, 2014, 9:58 AM
Baboucarr Baldeh, former employee of Takaful Gambia Limited, was recently quizzed at the Industrial Tribunal in Kanifing in a claim he filed against the defendant, his former employer
Baldeh sued Takaful Gambia Limited to the Industrial Tribunal, claiming, D500,000 for unlawful termination, D250,000 for cost and damages, as well as interest at the rate of 25 per cent.
Testifying under crossed-examination, presided over by the tribunal chairman, the plaintiff told the tribunal he was contracted as a collection officer during the second month of the probationary period he was offered an appointment as a clerk in the financial department.
He admitted that his remuneration as a collection officer was based on commission.
“I was later paid salary and commission,” he said.
When it was put to the plaintiff that in any new role he had to go through probation? He replied in the negative, noting that he was still doing the same functions.
Asked what his role was as a collection officer, Baldeh noted that he was responsible for cash collection or cheques for debtors.
He was also tasked with the responsibility to communicate with debtors of organizations to inform them when their outstanding were due in order to settle them for payment.
“I also prepared statement of accounts to our debtors, daily reports and monthly debit records,” he said.
When further questioned by the defendant’s counsel on his signing the offer of appointment letter when he did not have the staff handbook, the plaintiff revealed that he did so because he was promised by his employer that he would be provided with the staff handbook in due course.
When it was put to him that the defendant had a right to terminate his service as the same way he (the plaintiff) has the right to resign, the plaintiff denied that the defendant did not have the right to terminate his services without a memo or warning.
“I am not sick and I am ok,” he added.
When it was put to him that the reasons he was given exhibit C, a termination letter, was that he was on probation, the plaintiff dismissed the claim, noting that he was done with the probation before the termination letter.
“Can you explain how you came about claiming D500,000?,” defendant’s counsel asked, and the plaintiff told the tribunal that with regard to the nature of his appointment, he was entitled to a commission and salary.
He testified further that with regard to commission, the sky was the limit.
He adduced that he also claimed for unlawful termination of his services and breach of contract.
He denied that the defendant was entitled to one month’s salary and any other benefits.
He admitted claiming D250, 000 as cost and damages.
“I was terminated on 10 February 2012 and it cost me moving from place to place, as well as seeking legal advice,” he said.
When told that he also claimed for an interest of 25 per cent, the plaintiff in his words said: “I did not even understand what it is about; it came on my way when I came to file my claim.”