National Labour Commission -V- Ghana Telecommunication Ltd (J4/53/2010) [2019] Ghasc 12 (13 January 2019)

National Labour Commission -V- Ghana Telecommunication Ltd (J4/53/2010) [2019] Ghasc 12 (13 January 2019)

“Courts reserve the authority to re-evaluate the findings of the Labour Commission, under administrative order enforcement actions.”

The National Labour Commission sought enforcement at the High Court, of an administrative order which the Commission had issued to Ghana Telecommunications Ltd, related to the dismissal of an employee.

The High Court dismissed the application for the following reasons:

  • The Commission had no power to substitute its own case for that of the another (i.e. the dismissed employee);
  • The Commission had not made a finding of fact on unfairness or otherwise in relation to the dismissal of the employee; and
  • The decision of the Commission in its administrative proceedings, was incomplete.

The Commission appealed to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the High Court had erred when it questioned the correctness or otherwise of the Commission’s decision, instead of just enforcing the decision submitted to the court for enforcement. The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the High Court, and on further appeal, the Supreme Court too sustained the ruling, positing that a court of law cannot enforce the Commission’s order without satisfying itself that the order was justified in the first place. Therefore, investigation proceedings which were laid before the Commission, may have to be again laid before the Court.

Insight: A judge cannot make an order enforcing the decision of the National Labour Commission without satisfying itself that the decision is justified in law. Therefore, the Court may require that investigation proceedings of the Commission be laid before it