Pension case adjourned again

The case of Cayman Kitchen and Flooring Specialists and Scott Henderson has been adjourned again, this time until 21 September.

The company and the individual plus another company, Office Pavilion, are before the Summary Court on charges of failure to make contributions to a pension plan for employees and failure to provide required information to the Superintendent of Pensions.

It is the first case of its kind to reach court since the National Pensions Law was enacted in 1996.

The adjournment comes because of conflicts in the schedules of the Court, the Crown, a witness and Defence Attorney Clyde Allen.

Last Thursday, Mr. Allen advised that he would be asking the Crown to call Superintendent of Pensions Cyril Theriault as a witness. He agreed to the reading of statements from other pension officers rather than have them give evidence in person.

The matter first came to court in November 2004, at which time various guilty pleas were entered on behalf of the companies. Various adjournments were then granted in an effort to see if the Crown and Defence could agree on the amount of money owed to the companies’ pension funds.

Figures mentioned in court to date have been $101,677.88 for Cayman Flooring employees and $38,889.33 for Office Pavilion employees, but these are not official or agreed.

Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale began hearing evidence in July. Charges have since been put to Scott Henderson as an individual and he pleaded not guilty.

Regarding Office Pavilion, the Crown’s case, conducted by Solicitor General Cheryll Richards, is that the company continued to do business after September 2004. The Defence position is that Hurricane Ivan, which caused so much destruction in Cayman that month, destroyed the business.

Regarding Cayman Flooring, the Crown’s case is that Mr. Henderson was the mind and management of the company and therefore responsible for a period not covered by the company’s pleas.

Ms Richards and Mr. Allen agreed that the National Pension Law makes the employer responsible for making the pension contributions. They also agreed that the definition of employer comes from the Labour Law.

In that context, an employer is any person who has entered into or stands ready to enter into a contract of employment with an employee, and includes any agent, representative or manager of such person who is placed in authority over an employee.

Mr. Allen is arguing that Cayman Flooring had other managers and that Mr. Henderson, although president, was not a director and not an owner.