Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Former PAJ executives say they are entitled to benefits

Published:Thursday | January 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Supreme Court, on November 30 last year, handed down judgments against Beverley Williamson and Richard Roberts, both former executives of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), who sought a declaration that discretionary retirement benefits under their contracts were lawful and binding on the public body.

Williamson wanted the court to declare that she was entitled to $22.3 million under her contract of employment and that the sum should be paid at three per cent interest from July 2016.

The other claimant, Roberts, sought a declaration from the court that he was entitled to $16 million based on his contract and that this amount should be paid at a rate of three per cent interest.

Both Williamson and Roberts were employed on fixed-term contracts and were paid 25 per cent gratuity on gross emoluments on completion of each contract period.

In 2016, Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis directed that the PAJ should take action to recover sums paid to retired executives of the authority under a discretionary retirement scheme that was not approved by the Ministry of Finance.

In her special audit, which was tabled in Parliament, Monroe Ellis raised concerns about the discretionary retirement benefits paid to retired executives who had already obtained gratuity payments.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness told his parliamentary colleagues on Tuesday that the Port Authority would be moving to recover the retirement benefits paid out to former executives.