His Lordship, Hon. Justice Zaynab Bashir of the National Industrial Court, Portharcourt Judicial division has declared the issuance of the letter of appointment termination to Mr. Monday Gbaraka by the Zenith Securities Limited as improper.
In the interest of Justice, the court held that Claimant has satisfactorily established that the Peopleplus Management Services limited was also his employer that made him a permanent staff and the appropriate body to issue its letter of termination.
From facts, Claimant – Monday averred that he was employed by the 1st defendant and was on probation for one year and his employment was later transferred to the 2nd defendant where he worked for 12 years.
He added that he was shocked to receive a termination letter from the 1st Defendant - Zenith Securities Limited who had ceased to be his employer and same being honoured by the 2nd Defendant - Peopleplus Management Services limited and the letter of termination omitted his unutilized leave allowance for 4 years and the letter issued by the 1st Defendant has prevented him from accessing his pension who recognizes the 2nd Defendant as his employer.
The Defendants denied that the Claimant’s employment was transferred to the 2nd Defendant that in principle he remained a staff of the 1st Defendant that both 1st and 2nd Defendants are affiliated to the same entity.
The Defendants also averred that the Claimant was not promoted but had his salaries reviewed periodically and as at the time of his exit and was not owed any amount as his salaries and allowances were paid, contended that Mr. Monday claims are unknown to labour law urged the court to dismiss the Claimant’s suit with substantial cost.
In reply, Counsel to the claimant’s also contended that the refusal and or failure of the 1st Defendant to confirm the Claimant’s employment after the one year probation period and the subsequent confirmation by the 2nd Defendant presupposes that the Claimant was no longer an employee of the 1st Defendant urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering Judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both counsel, the trial Judge, Justice Zaynab held that even though the 1st Defendant reserved the right to second the Claimant to a sister company, there was no specified period within which the Claimant was expected to be with the 2nd Defendant and to return to the 1st Defendant.
“In other words, the implication of letter of confirmation issued to him by the 2nd Defendant is that while the letter of employment issued by the 1st Defendant contemplated secondment, what was in actual fact done was a permanent transfer of service as the Claimant was absorbed by the 2nd Defendant as a permanent staff.
“This act of the Claimant in collecting the cheque which was in the name of the 1st Defendant clearly shows that the Claimant had no difficulty with the termination as at the time it happened and that he continued to accommodate both Defendants as his employers.
“In the interest of justice therefore, I find that the employment letter issued to the claimant subsists as his letter of employment upon which the 2nd Defendant confirmed his employment and made him a permanent staff. Consequently, the letter of termination of the Claimant’s employment ought to have been issued by the 2nd Defendant and not the 1st Defendant.
In all, the Court dismissed other claims for lacking merit.