Banda v Shire Highlands Hotel (IRC 23 of 2006) (23 of 2006) [2008] MWIRC 16 (26 May 2008);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 23 OF 2006


BETWEEN


BANDA……………………... ……………………………………………. APPLICANT


-and-


SHIRE HIGHLANDS HOTEL……………………………………….. RESPONDENT


CORAM: R. ZIBELU BANDA (Ms); CHAIRPERSON

NAMANDWA D; Employers’ Panellist

PADAMBO M; Employees’ Panellist

Respondent; Absent without excuse

Applicant; present

Gowa; Official Interpreter


JUDGMENT

  1. Dismissal-Reason-Misconduct-Neglect of Duty

  2. Employer bears burden of proving reason for dismissal



Facts

The Applicant was employed on 1 February 2005 as a Plumber. His services were terminated on 5 December 2005. The reason for termination was neglect of duty (laziness). The Applicant challenged the termination on ground that it was not true that he was lazy.


The respondent did not attend court to substantiate the alleged case of laziness. The court proceeded to hear the matter in the absence of the respondent in accordance with provisions of section 74 of the Labour Relations Act.


The burden of showing a reason for dismissal and substantiating it is on the employer. Where the employer fails to prove the reason there is a conclusive presumption that the dismissal was unfair, see section 61 of the Employment Act. And the court so finds.


Finding

The termination was unfair. The reason for dismissal was not substantiated with evidence. Applicant is entitled to compensation. Considering he had worked for less than 12 months, the court orders an award of equivalent of two weeks wages, being MK4 900-00. To be paid with immediate effect.


Any party aggrieved by this decision is at liberty to appeal to the High Court in accordance with section 65 of the Labour Relations Act.



Made this 26th day of May 2008 at BLANTYRE


Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON


Daphter Namandwa

EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST


Maxwell RM Padambo

EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST