Dismiss Kotoko’s appeal, compensation not same as notice of termination of contract – Konadu tells GFA

Former Coach of Asante Kotoko, Maxwell Konadu wants the Ghana Football Association(GFA) Appeals Committee, to reject the Porcupine’s request to have the Players’ Status Committee(PSC) ruling in his favour reversed.

Management of Kotoko in their appeal to the GFA said the football governing body adjudicatory arm arrived at their decision based on ‘errors of facts, speculations, and erroneous misinterpretation of the contract of employment between the two parties.

They argued that, in their engagement with the former Black Stars assistant coach, he was due three months ‘compensation’ for termination of the contract as spelt out in clause 11.4 of the agreement.

However, this position was rejected by the Is-Hak Al-Hassan committee who ruled that, their decision was hasty, premature and no just cause and awarded a residual value of the contract worth $36,000 to be paid to Maxwell within 30 days.

Maxwell Konadu agrees with the position of the PSC, stating that, what Kotoko described as ‘compensation’ does not exist in the document that binds the two parties signed on December 19, 2019.

He argued that, “the contract of employment between appellant and respondent dated 19th December 2019 has no COMPENSATION CLAUSES.

“What is erroneously referred to as a compensation clause by the Appellant is the NOTICE FOR TERMINATION in lieu of which three (3) months salaries may be paid. So if appellant had given 3 months notice to respondent it would be done in lieu of the payment of 3 months salaries and vice versa.

“The exercise of the option of paying 3 months salaries in lieu of Notice is NOT compensation known to labour/employment law. There’s no difference in a case where 3 months salaries are straight away being paid instead of Notice. Notice is different from a “compensation” clause in contracts of employment.”

He further noted that, compensation is “payment of damages; making amends; making whole; giving an equivalent or substitute of equal value; that which is necessary to restore an injured party to his former position…” thus, the decision of the PSC to award him $36,000 being the residual value of the contract of employment between him and Kotoko is justified by jurisprudence of CAS.

It is, therefore, erroneous, misleading and a misconception for appellant to allege that “the termination clause in the contract of employment in dispute clearly states the ‘compensation’ due the Respondent in the event of termination.”

The 2011/12 football season league winning coach added that, his former employer “misread and misinterpreted clause 11 of the contract of employment that binds them.

Based on the above argument, he concluded that, “the appeal [by Asante Kotoko] is baseless and unmeritorious, and should accordingly be “dismissed.”

Kotoko told the Appeals Committee that, they exercised their right to terminate the contract of their employee for a just cause, but Maxwell noted that, though, “both statute and Caselaw are unambiguous that a contract of employment in football can only be terminated for just cause.

“An unjust or unfair reason for termination” without reason would lead to the payment of compensation and that the law “is no longer good law,” citing “the dictum of Apaloo JA (as he then was) in Nyarko v Bank of Ghana, Ghana, has introduced statutory changes to the erstwhile proposition in common law that an employer could dismiss an employee without reason. In fact, Section 15 of the Labor Act, 2003, Act 651 provides statutory grounds for termination of contracts of employment.

A contract of employment may be terminated:

(a) by mutual agreement between the employer and the worker

(b) by the worker on grounds of ill-treatment or sexual harassment

(c) by the employer on the death of the worker before the expiration of the period of employment

(d) by the employer, if the worker is found on medical examination to be unfit for employment

(e) by the employer because of the inability of the worker to carry out his or her work due to

(i) sickness or accident; or
(ii) the incompetence of the worker; or
(iii) proven misconduct of the worker.

“The spirit of the Ghana statute (the labor Act of 2003) is consistent with CAS caselaw and jurisprudence. Consistent CAS jurisprudence frowns on the unilateral termination of a contract of employment unless grounded in just cause,” he said.

Their reason for dismissing him cannot be found in any of the above, hence, the decision of the record Ghana league champions to terminate the contract with him for ‘his inability to exhibit a high level of performance to propel the team to the height it deserves” was, “baseless, misplaced, unlawful, hasty, premature and unjustified by law.”

Several decisions from CAS and Ghana courts were quoted to back his argument submitted on April 23.

Kotoko also requested, Maxwell is surcharged GH¢ 55,300 for keeping an official vehicle despite parting company with the club, but he says, as an employee,
he “has a right of lien over the property” as long as he was owed, and that since Kotoko admitted to owing him over GH¢ 80,000, he could have set off the vehicle to settle the debt owed him.

He has, therefore, requested a dismissal of Kotoko’s appeal because it is unmeritorious.

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