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Industrial tribunal delivers verdict

Dec 3, 2010, 1:19 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The chairman of the Industrial Tribunal at the Kanifing Magistrates' Court, Hilary Abeke, on 25th November, 2010, delivered a judgement against one Baba Kanyi, who sued Royal Seven African Gaming, claming D804,000, being damages for wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, trust and betrayal, and loss of earnings caused by the defendant.

In his judgement, the chairman told the tribunal that having perused the evidence before it, the question was whether the plaintiff having been served with a notice of termination on 29th March 2010, signed and collected his salary and other entitlements in April 2006, in lieu of notice, could still maintain the suit.

He adduced that the plaintiff having tendered exhibits and retrieved them from the tribunal, the tribunal would act upon speculation.

Chairman Hilary further stated that it was strite law that every contract of employment must be terminated by either party giving a specific or agreed period of notice, and a contract so terminated without the party exercising such contractual right would be held liable for breach of contract.

"Where there is no expressed provision as to termination by notice, matters can be ascertained from custom or trade usage,” he told the tribunal.

He referred to the Labour Act 2007, and further indicated that, in the case in question, the notice to the plaintiff was in compliance of the Labour Act.

Hilary posited that the plaintiff admitted collecting his salary for April 2006 of D3,304.92 and his leave benefit of D2,475 the same month.

He stated further that the plaintiff’s salary and other entitlements in lieu of notice of termination had been paid to him, and that the plaintiff should not be heard complaining.

"The defendant has complied with the provisions of section 58 of the Labour Act," he added.

He told the tribunal that the law settled that where an employee accepts salary in lieu of notice of termination of his appointment, he could not be heard to complain later that his contract of employment was not validly and properly determined.

"Also on the issue of the plaintiff picking up a fresh employment with Dunes Casino Company, where he admitted he collected a month's salary of D4,250, which was above what the defendant used to pay him, it is a clear demonstration that the new place was better than the old place," he added.

He added that the tribunal saw no reason why the plaintiff should complain.

Chairman Hilary finally told the tribunal that they found the entire claims of the plaintiff to be baseless and misleading, and ordered the plaintiff to pay the defendant D5,000 as cost. He then dismissed the suit.