The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has offered to re-employ 57 of the 215 staff believed to have been irregularly retrenched in 2010.
The exchange of letters this month between MRA and fired employees show that MRA offered to re-employ the 57 fired staff as new employees and not as continuation of their previous employment contracts.
Lawyer representing MRA, Patrice Nkhono, according to the communication dated October 8 2012, told lawyer representing the affected employees, Noel Chalamanda, that another condition for re-employment was that a court matter they were pursuing be discontinued.
But Chalamanda in responseÂ to the MRA lawyer dated October 11 2012 objected to the conditions.
He argued that to treat re-engagement as a new contract would gravely disadvantage his clients in a number of ways, including the requirement to be on probation, the loss of years of service already accumulated and most significantly the loss of remuneration for the whole time they were out of employment.
Chalamanda said his clients are willing to take up the jobs but argued the fair deal would be to treat the same as a reinstatement.
While in court last week, the MRA lawyer asked for 30 days to conclude the process MRA is undertaking to re-employ the laid off staff.
But lawyer for the retrenched staff objected to the 30 days, arguing it is longer and proposed 14 days, but Industrial Relations Court (IRC) deputy chairperson Jack Nâ€™riva settled for 21 days.
When the matter returns to court on November 2, MRA is expected to report back on the counter offer put forward by the complainants. The retrenched staff that have not been considered for re-employment/re-engagement would choose to proceed with the case or not.