Why Won’t This Company I Served Faithfully Pay Me?
Updated: Feb 17, 2018
Q. I worked diligently as a secretary in one of the technical training institutes for over 10 years. Four years ago, I left for greener pastures. My performance was good, earning me a merit certificate, however, I have been requesting for gratuity payment since I left but have not received any responses other than a call this year asking for a copy of my appointment letter, which I always attach to support my claim. What should I do to get my money?
Before you lodge any claim, it is important to ensure that it is allowable. Having worked for 10 years, I am sure you have some recollection of the requirements for payments of the benefits you claim. The fact that it was stated in the contract appointment is not good enough. There may have been other underlying requirements that may not be as obvious, hence the need to link the policies to your contract.
Employers pay gratuities for various reasons.
One, to motivate employees to serve full duration of their contracts. In this scenario, gratuity is paid to retain them, consequently, it would not be payable if the employee leaves before their contract term is fulfilled. Check if your former employer may have had such a restriction.
In other cases, gratuities are paid to short-term contractors whose terms may not be sufficient for them to join and enjoy the benefits of a pension or provident scheme. This case obviously does not apply to you. Gratuities have also been paid to motivate long service. In such situations, employers would pay a gratuity to employees who work productively for five or 10 years, and this may be paid while still in service or on departure. Your claim may fall in this category, but again, you need to ensure this is supported by former policies.
So what should you do since your former employer has turned a deaf ear to your appeals? Start by presenting yourself in person at their offices to explain your case, linking this to the contract and policies that governed this contract. The response you get should guide your next step. If they request for some time to investigate and get back to you, ensure you get a clear timeline on when to get a comprehensive response. If your conclusion is that your gratuity is payable and is being denied for inadmissible reasons, seek legal advice to resolve your case.
Originally posted on the Daily Nation.