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De Jure Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 2225-7160
Print version ISSN 1466-3597

Abstract

MUJUZI, Jamil Ddamulira. The Seychelles Employment Tribunal: The drafting history of the Employment (Amendment) Act of 2008 and its relevancy to understanding the work of the Tribunal. De Jure (Pretoria) [online]. 2022, vol.55, n.1, pp.28-44. ISSN 2225-7160.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2225-7160/2022/v55a2.

In 1995, the National Assembly of Seychelles passed the Employment Act. However, the 1995 Act did not establish the Employment Tribunal. It is against this background that on 8 September 2008, the Employment (Amendment) Bill, was published in the Official Gazette. The bill was debated and passed in the National Assembly on 30 September 2008. It was assented to by the President a few days thereafter, that is, on 8 October 2008 and published in the official gazette on 13 October 2008 and it became the Employment Amendment Act (No. 21 of 2008). Immediately thereafter, the Employment Tribunal started its work. Since the coming into force of the Employment (Amendment) Act, the Tribunal, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal have developed rich jurisprudence on the application and interpretation of the Employment (Amendment) Act. However, in this jurisprudence, none of these institutions rely on the drafting history of the Employment (Amendment) Act although case law shows that there are instances in which Seychellois courts have referred to Hansard in interpreting legislation for the purpose of determining "legislative intent." In this article, the author relies on the drafting history of the Employment (Amendment) Act and in particular the Employment (Amendment) Bill (2008) and the verbatim debates of the National Assembly (Hansard) to argue that the manner in which the Tribunal, the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal have interpreted or applied the sections of the Employment (Amendment) Act dealing with the following issues is debatable: registering a grievance before the competent officer; registering a grievance before the Tribunal; and penalties by the Tribunal (especially compensatory awards).

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