Firm takes staff to court for dishonouring study bond

National, Normal

The National, Friday October 11th, 2013

 OK Tedi Mining Ltd has taken a former employee to court, claiming he failed to honour his study bond by resigning prematurely.

The company claimed in court that Julius Jiap owed it money because he left before the study bond period expired in 2007.

OTML, through its lawyer argued, that Jiap failed to fulfill the study bond agreement which required him to work for the company for four years after the completion of studies. 

But Jiap told the Waigani National Court yesterday that he felt he was demoted in the information technology and information department when he returned from studies in Australia. 

Justice Catherine Davani, who presided over the matter, said one of the issues before the court was whether Jiap had been demoted after returning from his studies.

Jiap told the court that OTML awarded him a scholarship to study at James Cook University in Australia from 2001 to 2004. 

In January, 2005, Jiap returned from studies and resumed work as a programme analyst.

That, he claimed, was a lower position to the data base administrator post he held before he left for studies.

Jiap said although his salary remained the same, the responsibilities were different. 

When asked during cross examination if the OTML management had told him that he would retain the same position his return from studies, Jiap said he believed it was stated in the study bond agreement.  

The matter has been adjourned to Monday when lawyers will make submissions.