IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
MATTER NO. IRC 309 OF 2003
KAMWANA ... ... APPLICANT
ILLOVO SUGAR GROUP ....... . ..RESPONDENT
CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda (Ms) Chairperson
Respondent; Shumba; Supervisor
Gowa; Court Clerk
Upon hearing both parties to this case and upon going through the court record, the court finds that the applicant absconded from work. The applicant got authority to go on 58 days leave in order to pursue driving studies. According to the respondent the applicant did not report back for duties after exhausting these leave days. The applicant however stated that he reported back for duties only to be dismissed.
Abscondment from work is serious industrial misconduct entitling an employer to dismiss summarily, see section 59 of the Employment Act. Where an employee absconds from work the respondent can not be held liable for unfair dismissal.
In this case the respondent conceded that they authorized the applicant to go on 58 days leave. It is difficult to believe therefore that after he came back from leave he was dismissed. There was no letter of termination and the respondent convinced the court that the applicant absconded.
This action is therefore dismissed in its entirety. Any aggrieved party is at liberty to appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this judgment.
Pronounced this 20th day of July 2006 at BLANTYRE.
Rachel Zibelu Banda