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Former Barclays employees suffer a blow after court struck out Ksh600 million award

At least 105 former employees of Barclays Bank (now Absa Bank) have suffered a big blow after the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision to grant then Ksh600 million following their firing a decade ago.

Agnes Wachu Wame and 104 other individuals were waiting for the decision of the Court of Appeal, which unfortunately struck out the award.

According to the three petition judges, the award was declared invalid because it was not legally awarded. The ex-employees were dismissed in December 2010.

However, as they left their respective positions, they questioned how the final computation of their dues was done.

They were eventually awarded money the Employment and Labour Court Justice Mathew Nduma Nderi, who established that they had been discriminated against.

The judge found that the bank had violated Section 40 of the Employment Act (2007) that requires employers to offer sacked staff proper terminal compensation.

“In its discretion, the bank granted the applicants 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.

The lender claimed it had paid a package for the sendoff, and that each employee was liable to pay due loans with the bank through the exit package.

Additionally, all the benefits of counting payment in place of leave were paid to the employees.

The bank also says they were deceitfully paid for sixteen years, which they never worked for, and that those who worked for 40 years were denied their hard-earned money.

According to Justice Nderi, there is no doubt all employees worked for over sixteen years and some up to 40 years but were denied huge amounts of money which they are were legally entitled to for their long term service.

The judge stated that those who had worked for more than sixteen years were discriminated against. Therefore, the 105 applicants succeeded in their demand and were each awarded as a prayed in the suit.

The High Court judge ordered that they should be paid dues calculated from 31 January 2011 when they were dismissed.

However, Nderi’s ruling was dismissed by the appellate court for lacking merit.

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