Fighting for Dignity – Victory for Finance Union in Fiji
Fiji Bank & Finance Sector Employees’ Union [FB&FSEU] successfully defended an unlawful termination of 52 years old Mr Paramanand Sharma by Fijian Development Bank on health grounds.
Hon. Magistrate Andrew See delivered a judgement, on hearing the case on 20th March 2019 and ordered the bank to compensate the victim employee with a payment of FJ$ 40,000. While reading the decision, the Magistrate cautioned:
"The Worker has been humiliated through this process; he has been treated unfairly. Claims that a worker could not perform certain functions because it would require movement between levels of a building that is serviced by a passenger lift are quite demeaning and have no merit. The Employer (FDB) should also ensure that it changes its employment practices and policies relating to these issues."
After working for the bank for 28 years in different capacities, FDB management terminated Mr Sharma denying his employment due to an impairment without proposing any alternative options for him to continue with the job in the bank. FB&FSEU challenged the termination at the Employment Relation Tribunal, and the National Secretary Sailesh Naidu defended Sharma at the tribunal.
Magistrate See ordered:
"(i)The Griever (Sharma) has been unlawfully, unjustifiably and unfairly dismissed.
(ii)The Employer (FDB) should pay the Grievor the sum of $40,000.00 as compensation, within 21 days.
On 11th April 2019, Paramanand Sharma received the cheque from the bank in settlement of his compensation.