An FHTA member has kindly allowed the following ruling to be shared with other members:
The following employment dispute was reported to the Permanent Secretary on 19 Feb 2019 and concluded on 15 th November 2019. The dispute reported noted that:
1. The Employer breached the provision on retirement benefit in the Collective Agreement (CA) Clause 10.1 on a staff wrongful retirement”.
2. Breach of Clause 10.1 of the Collective Agreement (CA) on wrongful retirement of the workers since 2012″.
Position of the Union:
- That per the CA signed between the two parties, an amendment on “retirement age” covered that the normal retirement age for an employee covered by the agreement shall be on completion of fifty-five (55) years
- The Union asserted that “on completion of fifty-five years (55)” means the age reached by a covered employee once he completes twelve months from the fifty-fifth (55 th ) birthday.
- The Union claimed that the Employer had breached Clause 10.1 of the CA by retiring their member, the employee on his fifty-fifth (55th) birthday.
Position of the Employer:
- The Employer submitted that Clause 10.1 (a) (1) of the CA “D” must be given in its plain and ordinary meaning. Accordingly, “on completion of fifty-five years (55)” means the fifty-fifth (55th) birthday of a covered employee. The Employer claimed that this approach was adopted since 2011.
- The Parties agreed that the Workers date of birth of 02 Jan 1964 meant that the Worker fifty-fifth (55th) birthday was on 01 Jan 2019.
- The Magistrate concluded that on 02 Jan 2019, the Worker had reached the “normal retirement age” as set out in Clause 10.1 (a) (1) of the CA marked “D”
In his Final Orders, the Magistrate dismissed the claim of the Union, that the Employer had breached Clause 10.1 (a) (1) of the CA by retiring the Worker from service on 01 Jan 2019.