Had Ms Taylor absented herself without permission?

Dear Editor,

I refer to a letter by Mr Stanley Humphrey captioned ” Case against employer dismissed when Ministry of Labour’s lawyers failed to turn up in time” (07.10.27).

It was stated that the employer was charged by the Ministry for failing to give Ms Taylor notice of termination or to pay a sum in lieu of notice and failure to pay severance.

It is unfortunate the writer did not give details of the termination except for saying that Ms Taylor was absent from Guyana from November 2006 to April 2007.

If Ms Taylor absented herself with the permission of the employer, what was the nature of their agreement? Did Ms Taylor absent herself without permission? Then her termination would have been legal (read the case of Mason & Turner)

In this manner she would not have been entitled to any benefit as prescribed by the Termination and Severance Pay Act of 1997.

I was consulted by an employer who terminated the service of an employee for cause. The Ministry of Labour informed the employer that since the letters of termination mentioned the word ‘Termination’, the employee was entitled to pay in lieu of notice and severance pay. On my advice, the employer refused to pay. However, when threatened with prosecution by the ministry she decided to pay rather than endure a long court battle.

I wish to reiterate that the labour officers should be trained.

Yours faithfully,

Bharat Kissoon

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