Australian-listed Silver Heritage Group Ltd has terminated its consultancy agreement with one of its Nepal-based partners after he publicly accused the company of failing to acquire necessary work permits for some senior staff at recently opened Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming earlier this month, Rajendra Bajgain was quoted in an article in local Nepalese news outlet My Republica in which he claimed the company had employed five foreign senior management staff illegally. The article suggested the staff are in Nepal on “free visas.”
Silver Heritage Managing Director and CEO Mike Bolsover denied the allegations and told IAG at the time that the unauthorized disclosure by Bajgain would lead “to sanctions being imposed by the company including but not limited to the potential termination of his consultancy agreement.”
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday, Silver Heritage confirmed that termination, adding that discussions are ongoing in regards to Bajgain’s relationship with the company. Bajgain remains a director and shareholder of Silver Heritage’s Nepal incorporated subsidiary, SHL Management Services PVT LTD.
Silver Heritage said it was also liaising with Nepali authorities in relation to the allegations contained in the My Republica article.
Bolsover told IAG at the time that, “All of the employees mentioned in the press report appearing in Nepal in fact hold valid business visas and some unique roles can only at this time be filled with foreign workers due to their relevant skill set and global experience.
“We have always sought the advice of our local partners, local advisors and local human resources teams in seeking to adhere not only to international standards as an ASX-listed company, but specifically to those rules of the host country Nepal. Advice received to date, particularly from our local partner in Nepal, has been unsatisfactory and lacking and efforts to secure additional work permits have so far not yielded the desired results.”
Silver Heritage revealed that the new Nepal Labour Act enacted in September 2017, the company’s expansion in Nepal and changes to government stemming from elections in December had added complexity to local human resources challenges but said it was continuing to work with the Department of Labour and the Australian Embassy via the company’s legal and human resources teams to ensure the legal status of its expatriate employees.