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PESHAWAR: The board of directors of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (EZDMC) has temporarily stripped the company’s chief of his powers to remove employees and made its approval mandatory for sackings.

Sources told Dawn that the company’s board took that decision in its last meeting on Dec 24, 2018 acting on the appeal of the two employees, who were sacked last month.

The company had sacked its human resources manager and land officer on Dec 3 invoking Clause 5.1 of their employment contract offered by the company, which allows the management to sack employees with a month prior notice or payment of one-month salary.

Asks CEO to revisit removal of two officials, submit recommendations to HR panel

“The company reserves the right to end the employment at any time with one month notice or gross salary in lieu therefore,” that clause reads.

The minutes of the 27th BoD meeting available with Dawn said the board discussed the recent termination of two employees, including HR manager and land officer, under Clause 5.1 of the employment contract.

They added that the board considered the reviewing of Clause 5.1 in due course of time through its human resources committee.

The minutes said the board resolved that Clause 5.1 of the employment contract was suspended until further orders and its application at the officers’ level and above would be exercised after the board’s approval.

They added that the board further resolved that company’s chief executive officer would revisit his decision of sacking two officials within seven working days and submit his recommendations to HR committee.

“The HR committee shall review both the cases and its recommendations to the board for final considerations,” the minutes added.

A board member told Dawn requesting anonymity that they had taken away company head’s power to sack people.

He said the CEO would have to approach the HR committee to seek approval for an employee’s sacking and that the committee would hear other employees and make recommendations to the board for final decision.

The member said the company chief’s power to sack people had to be taken away due to a large number of complaints flooding the board against CEO.

“Seven employees have approached the board complaining against the company chief’s behaviour,” he said.

Officials familiar with the matter told Dawn that neither the HR committee had met nor had the company’s management submitted its report about the sacking of two officials.

When asked about the production of the report to the committee, HR committee’s acting head Ejaz Yousaf said the body had not met so far. He said the committee was likely to meet next week.

Another source told Dawn that the HR committee would meet on Jan 15.

A senior government official said the move to clip the company chief’s power was meant to save the organisation from the ‘off-the-cuff’ decisions.

He added that at times, such decisions were not made in the company’s best interest and that the move was aimed at slowing down the decision-making process. “This step had to be taken,” he said.

The official said a decision would pass through ‘many layers’ bringing down the threats of the spontaneous decisions.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2019