Today's Labour News

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OldMutualBL Premium writes that Old Mutual’s high court victory against Peter Moyo paves the way for the insurer to finally appoint a new leader, after an eight-month battle with the axed CEO that caused reputational damage and shaved billions off its market capitalisation.  

On Tuesday, a full bench of the Johannesburg High Court upheld Old Mutual’s appeal, finding that the insurer had lawfully dismissed Moyo.  The court overturned an earlier high court judgment, which had ruled that Moyo was had been illegally fired and which temporarily reinstated him.  That reinstatement was overturned.  Moyo will apparently appeal the judgment.  The heart of the case is whether Old Mutual followed proper procedures when axing Moyo and adhered to the terms of his employment contract.  On Tuesday, judges found the contract clearly allowed either party the right to terminate the employment relationship with six months’ notice or six months’ payout and did not, as Moyo argued, require a disciplinary process before the termination took effect.  Old Mutual has been involved in a bitter feud with its former CEO since May when it suspended and later fired Moyo over alleged conflicts of interest.  The saga has sparked debate about whether companies should pay “golden handshakes” to leaders with whom they have had a fallout to end the conflict, or instead engage, as the insurer has done, in costly, protracted legal disputes.  While Tuesday’s court case related to temporary reinstatement, Moyo has brought a second, non-urgent case in which he is arguing that his employment was unlawfully terminated and that he should be compensated.  He has also filed papers accusing Old Mutual of contempt of court for preventing him from entering its premises and resuming work, despite that he was given a temporary reinstatement by the high court.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Katharine Child and Nick Wilson at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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