Laid off staff of GCNet demand payment of outstanding salaries …gives seven-day ultimatum

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Redundant staff of the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) has asked the management of the company to pay them their outstanding salaries and severance package as directed by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

The staff said the management of the company had refused to heed to the directive by the NLC, a situation they described as unfortunate.

Speaking to this paper in a telephone interview yesterday Mr Felix Agbodeka, Chairman of Staff Welfare Association said the Association had served the management of the company and the NLC a notice to embark on an industrial action if the management failed to pay them within seven days.

He said the workers who were laid off following the government’s termination of GCNet trade facilitation contract could not make ends meet as a result of management’s refusal to pay what was due them.

A three-member arbitration panel appointed by the NLC under Labour Act 651 and Regulation 17 of L.I 1822, and the ADR Act 798 on September 4, 2020 ordered GCNet to pay its staff made redundant recently as stated in the provisions of the HR Policy Manual without any variation or adjustment.

The panel directed that there was no justification  by the  management of GCNet to vary or adjust the existing binding HR Policy Manual at the time of implementation and execution.  

The Panel therefore, ordered GCNet /SGS to respect the spirit and letter of its HR Policy duly agreed and signed by all parties.

The matters before the Arbitration Panel was to determine whether or not the GCNet HR Policy Manual is binding on parties and whether or not there was any basis for variation or adjustment of the redundancy as stated in the HR Policy Manual.

The panel insisted that the MoU signed by the parties was clearly in respect of implementation of the redundancy provisions in the HR Policy Manual relating to redundancy pay as the formula for the exercise and not a renegotiation. Therefore there was no basis for the attempt to vary or adjust the agreed formula duly signed and implemented before in past scenarios.

It pointed out that following a careful study and analysis of the documentation submitted by both parties, it was convinced that the HR Policy Manual was binding on all parties and therefore, there was no need for renegotiation of redundancy pay.

The Arbitration Panel further disagreed with GCNet that it lacked capacity to pay because it did not make provisions for redundancy per International Accounting Standards 37 Provisions Contingent Liabilities and also due to uncertainty of date of payment by Government of Ghana.

It stressed that GCNet was entitled to claim compensation from the government which would include redundancy payment made to all staff.

BY DAVID ADADEVOH

Source: ghanaiantimes