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High Court orders priest to pay sacked cook Sh298,200

By Luke Anami | August 2nd 2016

The High Court has ordered a Catholic priest to pay his former cook one year's salary for wrongful dismissal.

Julius Kimani had worked for the priest as a cook for more than nine years.

The Father-in-Charge Joseph Muroki gave him verbal marching orders, contrary to the employment laws, which require that termination of a contract be in written form. Mr Kimani had a signed contract.

Justice Bryan Ongaya said Kimani's long unbroken service was terminated abruptly on February 20, 2015 following the transfer of the priest in charge and ordered that he be paid a total of Sh298,200 by September this year. Kimani had been employed on May 5, 2006.

"The reason given for that termination was that the incoming Father-In-Charge had to employ his own cook in place of the claimant," Justice Ongaya said.

"The court finds that such was an invalid reason for terminating the claimant's employment because it was a reason falling outside the contractual terms and conditions as had been agreed between the parties." The judge, sitting in Nyeri, noted that Kimani wished to continue in employment as he had a long clean record of service and his performance did not contribute to his termination in any manner.

Justice Ongaya awarded Kimani 12 months’ salary and one month's salary in lieu of notice and NSSF dues that were noted remitted for the entire period he was employed.

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