The Employment Rights Tribunal is set to order the two sides in the wrongful dismissal dispute between the then Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) and former quality assurance officer Constance Reid-Batson back to conciliation under the direction of the Chief Labour Officer.
Tribunal Chairman Hal Gollop, QC, Tuesday said he was not satisfied that all of the avenues of conciliation had been fully exhausted and therefore he was prepared to order further talks between the sides on a resolution, even if it meant his decision could be overturned by a higher court.
When the hearing resumes at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Warren’s Office Complex, Warrens, St Michael, Gollop will hear submissions from the BTA’s attorney-at-law Dr Lenda Blackman and Reid-Batson’s attorney Gregory Nicholls on the Statutory Boards (Pensions) Act.
The Tribunal’s Chief Legal Consultant Winston Chase told Barbados TODAY the two lawyers would focus on aspects of the Act that deal with pensions and gratuities for employees of statutory corporations.
Following the presentations, the panel will decide whether or not the case should go back to conciliation, Chase said.
The BTA is claiming that Reid-Batson, who started work in 1986, was dismissed in May 2014 because her prolonged illness had affected the agency’s productivity.
It was revealed during a sitting of the tribunal last month that Reid-Batson had chalked up 464 sick days over a 24-month period and had received ten warning letters between February 7, 2014 and March 5, 2014 regarding her absence from work,
The former BTA employee had also admitted during that hearing that she had not reported for work between March 5, 2012 and March 4, 2014 and that she had not submitted a sick certificate for the period she had been absent.
However, she had disagreed with the BTA’s attorney that she had abandoned her job.