IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
MATTER NO. IRC 23 OF 2006
BANDA ... . APPLICANT
SHIRE HIGHLANDS HOTEL .. RESPONDENT
CORAM: R. ZIBELU BANDA (Ms); CHAIRPERSON
- NAMANDWA D; Employers Panellist
PADAMBO M; Employees Panellist
Respondent; Absent without excuse
Gowa; Official Interpreter
Dismissal-Reason-Misconduct-Neglect of Duty
Employer bears burden of proving reason for dismissal
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.
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
Maxwell RM Padambo