Industrial Court: Court awarded Mr James Kamiza Ugshs. 4,320,000 and 8% interest from the date of retirement till payment in full for his continuous services to North Bukedi Cotton Company Limited for 18 years. This award arises from James Kamiza Vs North Bukedi Cotton Company Ltd, Labour Dispute Reference No. 103 of 2015.
The claimant, Mr James Kamiza by a memorandum of claim, stated that the respondent employed him for 18 years before he retired, but on retirement, he was denied retirement benefits. Counsel for the claimant submitted that per Regulation 27 of the North Bukedi Cotton Company Limited, (employer of the claimant) the claimant was entitled to 14,400,000/= having worked for 18 years from 1995-2013 as a mechanic. The claimant was also offered an appointment on probation commencing 18th December 1995 at a monthly salary of Ugshs 120,000. In reply to this claim, the company stated that Mr James Kamiza was a seasonal employee who was employed as per the season and who took benefit of his seasonal contracts of employment.
The labour dispute was before; Hon. Chief Judge Ruhinda Asaph Ntengye and Hon. Lady Justice Linda Lillian Tumusiime Mugisha who together with panelists; Ms Adrine Namara, Mr Micheal Matovu and Ms Susan Nabirye ruled in favour of the claimant. They stated that Section 83 of the Employment Act provides for the definition of continuous service to mean an employee’s period of uninterrupted functions with the same employer. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the service of an employee with an employer shall be continuous, whether or not the employee remains in the same job.
It was further stated that the claimant claims that he worked for 18 years. Since he retired from the service of the respondent by letter dated 7th October 2013 this means he claims to have started work in Oct 1995. The records show the claimant was confirmed on 18th December 1995 and therefore his claim is based on the date of confirmation which is to the advantage of the respondent. The claimant was earning a salary of 120,000/= per month. The judges, therefore, found that the records did not reveal any interruption in the service of the claimant and therefore found that he was in the continuous service of the respondent during the 18 years. They accordingly, stated that the claimant was entitled to 120,000x 2 x18 which is 4,320,000/= and interest of 8% from the date of retirement till payment in full.