Worker battles John Holt for withholding retirement benefits
A former employee of John Holt Plc, Mr Kode Ayodele, has accused the company of refusing to pay his retirement benefits more than three years after he retired from the firm.
Ayodele, who worked with the firm for about 23 years, was retired alongside other workers in February 2015, but his benefits, he alleged, had not been paid since then.
The 55-year-old said he had written several letters to demand the payment of his entitlements by the company without any response, adding that the refusal of the management to pay his gratuity had rendered him homeless and unable to meet his obligations to his family.
“The worst part is that I have been thrown out of the apartment I occupied because I could no longer pay the rent, which expired in 2016. My family and I are now staying with a friend. This disgrace can make a man hang himself,” the father of four stated.
Ayodele tendered his retirement letter dated February 27, 2015, signed by the Human Capital Manager, John Holt Plc, Cheta Arize.
It read in part, “Sequel to the ongoing reorganisation in the company, the management regrets to retire you from the service of the company effective February 27, 2015. You will not be required to serve the notice period. We thank you for the quality years you have put into the growth of this great conglomerate.
“Your retirement benefits shall be computed as stated below:
“Salary and allowances up to February 27, 2015; one month basic salary in lieu of notice; gratuity based on the company’s policy on the number of years you have served (you have served 22 years and 10 months, but for gratuity computation, 23 years).”
The company also pledged to pay Ayodele’s relocation expenses from the Federal Capital Territory to his home town in Oyo State, adding, however, that any indebtedness to the company would be deducted from his benefits.
When contacted over the failure of the company to fulfil its obligations to Ayodele, the Managing Director, John Holt Plc, Mr Chris Ezeh, said he was not aware of the situation and promised to direct the Human Resources Department to attend to it.
One week after the promise, the company has not paid Ayodele’s benefits and efforts to reach Ezeh failed as he did not respond to further calls and text messages sent to his telephone. Punch