IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
MATTER NO. IRC 100 OF 2006
NYIRENDA .. .. APPLICANT
RAIPLY MALAWI LTD .. RESPONDENT
- CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda (Ms); Chairperson
- Banda; of Counsel for the Respondent Applicant; Present
Terminal benefits-Severance allowance-Notice pay-Pension
Order-Vague-Remit order for interpretation and clarification for purposes of quantifying award
Jurisdiction-Labour officer-No jurisdiction to make orders-Jurisdiction of Labour Officer limited to conciliation and mediation-Order of Labour Officer invalid for lack of jurisdiction
The applicant was successful in his action for unfair dismissal against the respondent. An order was made on 10 December 2006 by Her Honour Mrs. K Nthara to the effect that the applicant must be paid benefits in form of severance allowance, notice pay and pension. The court also made some factual findings relating to unreasonable extension of suspension period. The period that was alluded to as being unreasonable did not appear in the courts judgment for purposes of calculating benefits due under that finding.
The applicant took his matter to Labour Office allegedly for advice on calculating his dues. The labour office came up with some liquidated sum which somehow ended up with the sheriffs for execution. The respondent applied for a stay of the execution of this document.
The matter was called today to determine the document from the labour office and stay its execution. The matter also proceeded to calculation of the entitlements due to the applicant as per the courts order of 10 December 2006. Parties were able to agree on the severance allowance, notice pay, leave grant and wages for days worked before suspension. This amount was paid by the respondent.
The parties could not agree on the construction of the courts order in relation to unreasonable suspension. This court therefore remitted the question of the unreasonable suspension period to Her Honour Mrs. K Nthara to clarify. She is obliged to make a finding and the necessary order with verifiable period for purposes of calculations.
The document prepared by labour office and acted upon as an order by the applicant is invalid. The labour office has no jurisdiction to make any orders under the labour laws unless the order was by consent of parties and signified as such by the signatures of both parties and that of the Labour Officer. This order for MK 77 112-00 is therefore set aside. It is bad as it was made without jurisdiction.
The parties agreed on the entitlements of the applicant as per court order. The remaining part concerning unreasonable period of suspension which is vague shall revert back to the Judicial Officer who made it for a finding and necessary order.
Any party aggrieved by this decision is at liberty to appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this judgment.
Made this 23rd day of July 2007 at BLANTYRE.
Rachel Zibelu Banda