Redundancy dos and donts
6 months ago
Redundancies have been quite common in today’s economy. This article looks at a recent case with the view of extracting relevant principles on the subject.
We will study the case of Barclays Bank of Kenya Ltd & Another vs GM & 20 others, Civ App No 296 of 2016. The case was determined by the Court of Appeal on 16th March 2016.
The claimants were former employees of Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) who had been seconded to work for Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL). BAGL is a South African registered company which holds shares in BBK. They were declared redundant when BAGL ceased operations in the country. The court reiterated the following important points to note regarding redundancies: –
- An employer must state the reasons for and the extent of the redundancy in the notices issued to affected staff, the labour officer and the trade union;
- It is for the employer to justify the validity and genuineness of the redundancy;
- An employer is required to consult employees prior to a declaration of redundancy, this, according to the judges, resonates with our Constitution and international laws/best practices, specifically Article 41 by which every employee is entitled to fair labour practices and Recommendation No. 166 of the ILO Convention No. 158 which provides for consultation and mitigation of the effects of a redundancy;
- The purpose of the consultations is for the parties to discuss and negotiate a way out of the intended redundancy, if it is possible, or the best way of implementing it if it is unavoidable;
- The consultations must be real and meaningful and not a charade;
- A redundancy notice that is not served on the labour officer is invalid.
You now stand guided!
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