The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has ordered the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) to pay compensation and re-instate some 37 ex-staff of defunct UT Bank and Capital Bank for wrongful termination of contracts.
The Commission directed that the complainants should be compensated within three months of the receipt of its decision with three monthsâ€™ net salary for each complainant at the current salary for each grade that the Complainants were on before the termination for the traumatic experience of losing their job.
Ms. Eleanor Tettey and 36 other Complainants who are ex-staff of GCB Bank Ltd (UT Bank and Capital Bank) lodged a complaint against the Bank on May 29, 2019, after they were laid off.
The complaints allege discrimination, unfair and wrongful termination of appointments by GCB Bank Ltd (Respondent).
The Reliefs sought by the Complainants include, among others; a declaration to the effect that the probation, issuance of new appointment letters, reduction of their salaries, and the termination of their appointments were wrongful and in breach of their collective bargaining agreement; an order directing the Respondent to pay compensation to all the affected ex-staff.
In a 21-page decision on the matter signed by the Commissioner Joseph Whittal signed on June 20, the Commission also directs that â€œthose who entered tertiary institutions as mature students should be considered for reinstatement because they did not require credit passes in English and Mathematics after passing the entrance examination to those tertiary institutions.â€
According to the Complainants, some of whom were ex-staff of UT Bank, and Capital Bank, on August 14, 2017, GCB Bank took over the operations of UT and Capital Bank in a â€œPurchase and Assumption Agreementâ€ (PAA) approved by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The Complainants aver that, per the takeover, GCB Bank assumed responsibility for the Staff of UT and Capital Bank, the Branches of the two Banks as well as their customers.
They contended that, by letters dated August 31, 2017, the Receivers for UT and Capital Bank sought to terminate their employment with UT and Capital Bank when they were already employees of GCB Bank.
They said that some of the workers of UT and Capital Banks were not absorbed into GCB Bank and were issued letters terminating their appointment without reason.
They added that some others who were absorbed served illegal probation and subsequently had their appointments terminated.
They noted that, from February 13 2019, GCB Bank issued letters to them indicating that they were going to terminate their appointment â€œat willâ€.
According to them, one of the reasons for the action of the Bank was that they did not possess the requisite pre-university qualification whereas those who were employed in the year 2017 with similar challenges were given a year to re-write their pre-university exams.
This action they believe constitutes discrimination since they were not given any hearing before the termination which is a breach of the principles of natural justice. They indicated that several attempts to get the Bank to give them a hearing proved futile.
They brought a complaint before the Chief Labour Officer who invited the parties to the meeting but the Respondent failed to honour the invitation.
They added that among those whose appointments were terminated were national service.