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General News Sat, 4 Jul 2020

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Akufo-Addo increases Domelevo’s forced leave days from 123 to 167 after protest letter

Following his letter of protestation to President Nana Akufo-Addo about the President’s 123-day ‘proceed on leave’ directive, Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo has incurred 44 more forced leave days in a response by the Presidency.

In his protest letter, Mr Domelevo had argued that based on recent labour law and practice, “no worker is deemed to have accumulated any leave on account of their having failed, omitted, neglected or even refused to enjoy their right to annual leave, which the law guarantees for their benefit, not the employer.”

However, the President response, in a letter signed by his Executive Secretary Nana Asante Bediaduo, said: “First of all, for the avoidance of any doubt, your accumulated annual leave of 123 working days which you were directed to take with effect from Wednesday, 1 July 2020, was in respect of the period 2017 to 2019, which you had worked without taking any annual leave and did not include 2020. If, however, you have decided to include your annual leave for the year 2020, then it is expected that you will resume work after a well-deserved leave of 167 working days, with effect from 1 July 2020.”

The Presidency also said: “It is necessary to correct the wrong impression you have sought to create in the public domain regarding the President’s directive to you to proceed on your accumulated annual leave. The President has, at all times, acted based on sound legal principles, the rule of law, and good governance practices, and the good people of Ghana will not be misled by your lack of understanding of the position of law, for which you may be forgiven since you are not a lawyer.”

“Accordingly, the directive of the President stands as amended above to the 167 working days with effect from 1st July 2020. While this letter is being sent to you through normal channels, we have taken the liberty to publish it publicly in the same medium by which your letter came to our attention. Please accept the President’s best wishes”, the statement noted.

Mr Domelevo had said, among other things that an employer cannot force an employee to go on leave when the employer voluntarily forfeits his/her leave days, as such, the directive from President Akufo-Addo to him to proceed on leave when other government appointees have not proceeded on leave since their appointments, give the impression that the decision is not taken in good faith.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo directed Mr Domelevo to take his accumulated annual leave of 123 working days effective Wednesday, 1 July 2020.

A statement released by the office of the President and signed by the Director of Communications, Mr Eugene Arhin on Monday, 29 June 2020, said: “The President’s decision to direct Mr Domelevo to take his accumulated annual leave is based on Sections 20(1) and Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), which apply to all workers including public office holders such as the Auditor-General.”

Mr Domelevo is said to have taken only nine days leave.

But reacting to the directive from the president in a letter address to Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Secretary to the President, Mr Domelevo said: “My knowledge of recent labour and practice in the country is that no worker is deemed to have accumulated any leave on account of their having failed, omitted, neglected or even refused to enjoy their rights to annual leave, which the law guarantees for their benefit, not the employer.”

He stated that to the best of his knowledge, therefore, “wherein any given year a worker fails, omits, neglects or even refuses to take their annual leave such leave is deemed forfeited with no corresponding obligation on the part of the employer to enforce the workers right to take their leave by assuming, deeming or declaring the forfeited leave accumulated.”

“I am also informed that by law, every person is entitled same in very limited circumstances to wave what the law has ordained for their benefit, in this case, a worker’s leave. Be that as it may, the directive that I proceed on leave and hand ‘over all matters relating to the office to Mr Johnson Akuamoah’, with all due respect, has serious implications for the institutional independence of the office of the auditor general,” the letter said.

Mr Domelevo said he has been forced to make the points above as a result of the following observation: “Previous correspondence from the chairman of the audit service board (who works at the office of the senior minister, together with public pronouncement by ministers, make it clear that the Auditor-Generals work is embarrassing the government.”

Read the full statement below:

Source: Class FM

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