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Tribunal orders MACL to reinstate, compensate ex-deputy financial officer

Fathmath Shaahunaz
20 January 2021, MVT 15:39
MACL was ordered to reinstate Hamid Riza as its deputy financial officer and compensate his owed salaries and allowances, after the company abruptly terminated him in 2019.
Fathmath Shaahunaz
20 January 2021, MVT 15:39

The Employment Tribunal ruled last week that Hamid Riza was sacked from his post as Deputy Financial Officer at Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) on October 7, 2019 unlawfully.

In its verdict delivered on January 14, 2021, the Tribunal ordered MACL to reinstate Hamid and compensate him for all salaries and allowances owed to him, within a period of 14 days.

Hamid, who had worked at MACL for 20 years and completed higher studies in finance and accounting, was abruptly terminated with MACL only citing "dissatisfaction from senior management" as the reason for his dismissal.

However, Hamid maintained during the Tribunal hearings that he had had no previous disciplinary issues, warnings, or advice from the company. Hence, he requested a verdict declaring him still employed at MACL, along with his owed wages between the date of termination and reinstatement.

In its defence, MACL asserted their stance that Hamid was sacked due to the senior management's dissatisfaction with him, and that the company had not taken disciplinary actions against Hamid as he was in a senior post.

The company further maintained that its employment contract authorised MACL to terminate staff upon notice, and thus the dismissal was in line with the agreement.

However, the Tribunal declared that Hamid was sacked in contravention of the Employment Act and ruled in his favour, stating that MACL's decision lacked both substantive and procedural fairness.

Hamid also won a case at the High Court on January 11, 2020, concerning MACL's appeal of an order issued by the Employment Tribunal, ordering the company against appointing a new deputy financial officer until Hamid's case ended. However, the appellate court decided that the Tribunal's order was lawful and ruled in Hamid's favour.

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