Significant rulings on Employment Law in Sri Lanka
In an interesting ruling in the first quarter of 2017, in the case of NGA Wijenayake v International Construction Consortium Ltd.,[SC Appeal 88/2010], the Applicant-Appellant (former) employee had filed an application in the Labour Tribunal alleging wrongful termination of employment by the employer.
The Labour Tribunal had ordered compensation equivalent to two years salary.
The (former) employee appealed to the High Court on the quantum of compensation seeking more. However, the learned High Court Judge by his order, reduced the said amount to twelve months salary.
The main question that arose for consideration in this case was whether the High Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction has the power, in an appeal filed by the (former) employee, to reduce compensation when there is no appeal by the employer.
It was held that the High Court in the exercise of its appellate powers has the right to reduce compensation awarded by the Labour Tribunal when it considers an appeal filed by an employee or trade union although there is no appeal by his/her employer and that the High Court also has the power to enhance the compensation awarded by the Labour Tribunal when it considers an appeal filed by the employer although there is no appeal by the employee or the trade union.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the High Court and dismissed the appeal without costs.