Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo has said an employer cannot force an employee to go on leave when the employer voluntarily forfeits his/her leave days as such the directive from the President Akufo-Addo to him to proceed on leave when other government appointees have not proceeded on leave since their appointments gives the impression that the decision is not taken in good faith.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel 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 officeholders 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, “where in 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 constraint to make the points above as a result of the following observation:
According to him, “Previous correspondent 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.”
He further stated that: “The office must have been aware also that several appointees of the President have not since the year 2017 taken their annual leave to date. The direction, therefore, that I proceed on leave oblivious of the other workers similarly circumstance gives the impression that the decision is not taken in good faith.”