Saturday February 24 2018

How can I recover my illegally held up salary?

Solomon Muhiirwa

Solomon Muhiirwa 

By Solomon Muhiirwa

My company suspended me with half pay for a crime I did not commit. It was claimed that I had been involved in fraud. However, after investigations, I was exonerated. I asked to be paid my full salary when I was on suspension but the company declined. What can I do? I want to be paid because I believe I was wrongly suspended and deprived of an income. Eric

Your matter seems to be a case of interpretation. Some companies think that interdiction and suspension are one and the same, and therefore use the two words interchangeably.
Suspension in the context of Ugandan labour laws occurs when an employer conducts an inquiry in which he or she believes that it may reveal a cause for dismissal.
Suspension can only be considered if there is a real risk of others involved in the investigation being threatened or evidence being compromised.
Suspension is considered an action taken to facilitate investigations whereas interdiction is a disciplinary penalty.
Both can withhold someone’s salary. Depending on the offense, interdiction may not be required to refund withheld salary because this may have been part of the penalty taken to discipline an errant employee.
If your employer refuses to refund then you may have no option but to make a complaint to the Labour Officer who will mediate over the matter.
Unless there are other underlying issues, most cases of this nature I have seen in court, are usually settled in favour of the employee.
Therefore, you need to understand why your employer has continued to withhold you pay.
It might be an issue that will be sorted out in the near future as the company has to make adjustments that is might not have planned for.

Solomon Muhiirwa
Human Resource Consultant