On the 19th of May 2020, the Ombudsman published a public report on the unfair deduction of severance entitlements of Mrs Linda George, former Pre School Coordinator of Malampa Province.

Mrs George commenced her employment as a Pre School Coordinator for Malampa Province on 8th of February 2006 and until the date of her retirement she had been employed for a total of approximately 8 years.

In a letter dated 18 of March 2014, Laurent Rep, Public Service Commission Secretary advised Mrs George that the Commission at its meeting No. 05 of 2014 of 14 March 2014 approved her retirement with effect from 13 June 2014.

Her severance payment was calculated by Tevear Daniel on 19 June 2014 to the amount of VT1,519,566 (severance VT 1,487,400 and annual leave VT42,156).

Mrs George continued to work approximately 12 months thereafter and this is due to the fact that she did not receive her retirement letter in time and there was no one available to replace her.

The Ombudsman found that the deduction from her severance allowance totaling of VT1,039,370 to the pay period of 12 months she worked after the date of her retirement from service was unlawful. The deduction was contrary to section 57 of the Employment Act [CAP.160]. She had lawfully earned the severance allowances and the 12 months of which she continued to receive her salary was for official work actually performed beyond retirement age. After receiving a copy of the report, Director General of the Ministry of Education, Mr Bergmas Iati included Mrs George in his submission for the payment of retired teachers to the Director of Finance on the 9th of September 2020.