Gondwe v Chihana (IRC 31 of 206 ) (31 of 206) [2006] MWIRC 146 (14 December 2006);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


MZUZU REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 31 OF 2006


BETWEEN

GONDWE...……….………… ……………................................................APPLICANT

-and-

CHIHANA………………………....…...…...…………………………RESPONDENT


CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda (Ms); Chairperson
Applicant; present
Respondent; Absent no excuse
Msiska Ms; Official Interpreter
P Banda; of Counsel

ORDER

Upon hearing the applicant and in the absence of the respondent to provide any contrary evidence; the court finds that the applicant was not paid salary for four months for work done while in the employ of the respondent. The court also finds that the applicant was not paid salary in lieu of notice after termination as demanded by the Employment Act. The applicant’s salary at the time of termination was MK7 500-00 per month.

The respondent was not available to contradict the applicant. They sent in legal counsel who had no leave of court to represent a party. The court could not exercise any discretion to allow the respondent legal representation when the effect of the leave is to make the proceedings more legalistic and technical for the unrepresented layman. There was no compelling reason under section 73 of the Labour Relations Act to allow the respondent appear through a lawyer when the other party was unrepresented. The matter had to be concluded in accordance with section 74 of the Labour Relations Act.


Order

The respondent is ordered to pay the applicant MK37 500-00 being a sum representing withheld wages and notice pay. This order is effective within 7 days of this date.


Any party aggrieved by this decision has the right of appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this decision. Appeal lies only on matters of law and jurisdiction and not facts: See section 65 (2) of the Labour Relations Act 1996.


Pronounced in Open Court this 14th day of December 2006 at MZUZU.



Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON