Q&A – 23 September 2013

I love my boss

I work for a big company and am in love with my boss. He is the best person I have ever met. He also likes me and we have spent some time together. The only problem is that he says since he is the boss, and I am his secretary, it is illegal for him to get involved with me. Does the law stop him from doing so? How do I get him to date me?
IR, Dar

We are not aware of any law that disallows a boss to date his secretary. In fact there are many fairytale stories whereby the boss actually marries the secretary. The problem is that some companies have internal regulations where such a relationship is considered inappropriate and the companies own regulations disallow it. For example if you and your boss are dating, it might affect your performance at work and you might not be able to stay focused on your job to mention a few. In answering this, we assume both of you are single.

Unfortunately as lawyers we are not qualified to answer your second question on how we can assist you in getting him to date you.

Rent after eviction

I entered into a lease agreement with a certain old man for a period of one year. I have been paying this landlord rent at an interval of three months. Surprisingly, the landlord later on imposed a number of conditions which were not provided for in the lease among them was to not cook a certain type of food in the house. Without even a notice on my 9th month stay, I was forcefully evicted on the ground that I failed to abide to these “subsequent conditions” of the old man. To avoid any problem and after being warned by my neighbors about this old man who has a witch like face, I looked for another place where I am currently staying. Unfortunately, my former landlord who evicted me is following me to pay the remaining 3 months of the lease duration although I did not stay for the entire 12 months due to the eviction. He further alleges that I the eviction was due to my own breach of conditions thus I have to pay. The old man sent the chairman of the District land and Housing tribunal to come and inform me that the sum was payable. Should I pay? Please guide.
KG, Dar

As matter of law a tenant who contrary to the express or implied terms and conditions of a lease is evicted from the whole or a part of the leased land or building is not as from the time of the eviction, under any obligation to pay any rent or other monies due under the lease or perform any of the covenants and conditions on the part of the tenant expressed or implied in the lease in respect of the land or buildings or part thereof from which he has been so evicted. This is what Section 110 (1) of the Land Act [Cap 113 R.E. 2002] provides.

Coming to your facts, we do not see any obligation for you to pay rent for the house which you are not staying in. The contract seized to operate when you were evicted. As from the facts you have given us, we are of the view that it is the landlord who breached the lease by unlawfully evicting you.

The fact that the lease was for 12 months cannot be raised now taking into account that the lease has been terminated before its expiry hence you should not pay the 3 months remaining rent.

As for the visit you got from the Chairman, please be informed that the Chairman’s utterance that you need to pay does not change the position of the law. The Chairman might have a vested interest in the matter. Your lawyer can guide you further.

Transport allowance to place of recruitment

I was employed with a certain mining company and my duty station was in Dar es Salaam until when my contract was terminated. I was recruited from Kigoma where I was working and living. This Mining Company has now refused to pay for my family’s transport allowance to Kigoma while it was clearly known that I moved with my family to Dar when I was employed. Is this employer right in this decision?
RP, Dar

The Employment and Labour Relations Act No 6 of 2004 is very clear under Section 43(1) stating that where an employee’s contract of employment is terminated at a place other than where the employee was recruited, the employer shall either transport the employee and his personal effects to the place of recruitment or pay for the transportation of the employee to the place of recruitment, or pay the employee an allowance for transportation to the place of recruitment and daily subsistence expenses during the period, if any between the date of termination of the contract and the date of transporting the employee and his family to the place of recruitment. Transportation of the family is explicitly stated and such refusal will entitle you for subsistence allowance from the date of termination to the date of payment/repatriation.

The law has further clearly stated the transport allowance should be equal to at least a bus fare to the bus station nearest to the place of recruitment. However for the subsistence allowance, case laws provide that the fairest and most appropriate subsistence allowance would entitle an employee to his monthly salary pending repatriation. Case laws also require employees who claim that the package paid to them as repatriation or amount paid as subsistence allowance is inadequate are advised to mitigate the loss that is likely to occur with their continued stay at the working station. Your lawyer can guide you further.