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Business News of Monday, 1 March 2021

Source: Business Ghana

GCNET appeals against Labour Court ruling on redundancy pay

Management of the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) has filed an application for an appeal against the recent Labour Court ruling that directed the company to pay redundancy compensation based on provisions in its Human Resource Policy Manual.

According to them, the Labour Court inappropriately determined the matter which has been at the core of the disagreement between the management and laid off workers.

It will be recalled that, the Accra High Court (Labour Division) on February 1, 2021, upheld an arbitral award by the National Labour Commission, which the management was challenging to ensure that the redundancy compensation was properly negotiated and paid in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Act.

But a statement issued by GCNET notes that, the application for review, filed at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday by Counsel for management, Mr Bede Tukuu, is seeking the reversal of the ruling on seven grounds.

“Stipulating the grounds for appeal, the application avers that the labour court erred in law in holding that a worker’s association (GCNet Staff Welfare Association) is different from trade union under the law, indicating that the holding the court is contrary to the legal definition of a trade union under section 175 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651),” the statement stated.

“Also, it avers that the court erred in law in holding that the GCNet Staff Welfare Association has the capacity to represent the workers and to collectively bargain and negotiate with management on behalf of the workers, although the association is not a registered and certified union.”

“This holding by the court is contrary to provisions of sections 83, 84,88,96 and 99 of the Labour Act 2003 (651) which preserves the right to collective bargaining to only workers” unions or associations registered and certified under the Act,” it added.

Meanwhile, the management has reiterated its commitment and readiness to pay the redundancy compensation once the legal processes are completed.

“Our aim is not to deny any worker compensation, but to ensure that we conduct the full redundancy exercise in accordance with the law so as to avoid any difficulty in government refunding the money,” Mr Alwin Hoegerle, General Manager of GCNET said.

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