By Moses Njagih
A former employee of Telkom Kenya Ltd has moved to the Industrial Court challenging her summary dismissal, allegedly for poor performance and failure to meet targets.
In the suit, Mrs Elizabeth Wakanyi Kibe, who was until the dismissal in April a clerical officer in Nyeri, is demanding up to Sh21,345,962 from the telecommunication company for what she terms illegal termination of employment.
She argues the amount she is claiming is what she would have been paid up to the time of her normal retirement on July 16, 2024, when she would have attained mandatory retirement age of 55 years.
She argues the manner in which she was dismissed was not only in contravention of the Employment Act of 2007, but also against the company’s own Policy on Human Resource.
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Ms Kibe, who was first employed as a casual at the company on August 21, 1989, before becoming a permanent and pensionable employee, says the right procedures of her disengagement, as stipulated in the company’s Human Resource Policy Manual, chapter 17, was not adhered to.
Through lawyer Stephen Mwenesi, she says without prior notice, Telkom Kenya gave her a first and second warning in October, last year, claiming she had failed to meet set targets.
She argues that unprocedurally, the company terminated her employment on April 13, without responding to her defence on accusations levelled against her in the warning letters.
She argues that according to the HR manual, the firm should have first stated charges against her and given her 48 hours to defend herself, with the line manager having the option of giving the first warning or not.
It is her contention that it is only after the third warning that she would be guilty of misconduct and liable for dismissal, if she repeated the same offences.
The Industrial Court has ordered the company to enter defence on the claims.