Renowned labour expert Austin Gamey has described President Akufo- Addo’s directive to the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo to proceed on his accumulated leave as an error, adding that there is nothing like accumulated leave
According to him the country’s labour laws does not recognize accumulated leave, and therefore it’s inappropriate for the President to give such a directive.
Mr Gamey suspects that the President may have been wrongly advised by the Board of the Audit Service, which should have ensured that Mr. Domelevo took his annual leave every year in accordance with the Labour Act 2003, Act 651.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday issued a directive asking the Auditor-General, to proceed on leave effective today, July 1.
A statement by Communications Director at the Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin, stated that Mr Domelevo must hand over to his deputy and take his accumulated leave of 123 working days, covering 2017, 2018 and 2019.
But Mr. Gamey, in an interview with ADR Daily, disagrees with the directive, saying Mr Domelevo forfeited his previous years’ leave by his failure to take those annual leave periods in their respective years.
He cited Section 31 (1) of the Labour Act, which states that ‘Any agreement to relinquish the entitlement to annual leave or to forgo such leave is void.”
Explaining further, he noted that the Auditor-General cannot be instructed to go on leave, because per the labour law there is no leave period available for him, except for 2020 annual leave which he must take on or before December 31, 2020.
Mr. Gamey said although there may be a genuine intention behind the directive, “the right thing was done in the wrong way.”
“Whether it’s the President, the Presidency or an individual who took the decision, it is laden with error, from a pure professional practical point of view,” he stressed.
He believed that the Board of the Audit Service could have done better in ensuring that the Auditor General, like all workers in the Service, took their mandatory annual leave.
“This is a pure HR function, and if they are doing their job well, we won’t need the President to come asking the Auditor General to go on leave,” he said.
My Gamey explained that the spirit behind the mandatory leave provision is to simply avoid the accumulation of leave entitlement.
“If you go on leave for 60, 80 or 100 days, and someone else performs your duty without problems, it only means that the organization can do without you. They don’t need you,” he explained.