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Barclays Bank of Kenya, now Absa, in its defence, told the court that each of the employees was paid their send-off packages. [ Nairobi News ]

The court of Appeal has reversed a High Court decision that had awarded 105 former employees of Absa Bank Ksh600 million following their sacking more than nine years ago, literally a financial fortune from their jaws.

In 2018, the High Court gave Barclays Bank of Kenya (now Absa Kenya) 30 days to pay 105 senior managers it retrenched seven years ago a total of Ksh600 million. The former employees won the case in which they questioned the computation of their final dues.

Discrimination

Justice Mathew Nduma Nderi, of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, said that the lender discriminated against the workers in the manner in which it computed the amounts.

“This court concurs with lawyer Titus Koceyo that their rights were violated and that they were discriminated against by their employer in the manner it tabulated their exit emoluments,” Justice Nderi said.

The judge noted that the bank violated Section 40 of Employment Act, 2007 which requires employers to grant sacked workers proper terminal dues.

“In its own discretion, the bank granted the claimants one-and-a-half months’ salary for each completed year of service and also used its discretion to cap the number of completed years payable to each of the former bankers,” he said.

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The judge also pronounced that those who worked more than 16 years were discriminated against. “It is not in doubt that all the employees who worked more than 16 years, some even up to 40 years, were deprived of large amounts which they were lawfully entitled to by the fact of their long service,” Justice Nderi said.

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However, the  Court of Appeal reversed Justice Mathew Nderi’s ruling awarding Sh600 million to 105 former Barclays Bank of Kenya employees.

Ms Agnes Wachu Wamae and 104 others were waiting for the appellate court decision with bated breath until it became clear the award had been struck out.

Wrong maths?

Three appellant judges declared the award was not legally justified. The former employees were declared redundant in December 2010. But as they left their jobs, they questioned the manner in which the computation of their final dues was conducted.

Barclays Bank of Kenya, now Absa, on their defence, told the court that each of the employees was paid their send-off packages. Justice Nderi’s ruling was dismissed by the appellate court for lack of merit. [ mahakamani.news ]

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