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Mombasa house help fired for being sick awarded Sh190,000

By Kamau Muthoni | Feb 27th 2017 | 2 min read

Mary Rhobi, a house help, lost her job on February 7, 2011 after she fell sick. 

She moved to the Employment and Labour Relations Court to contest the decision by Annan Bhamania to dismiss her.

She told the court that she was laid off through a verbal notice.

When she presented her case before judge Stephen Radido, her former boss was ordered to pay her Sh191,000. It was compensation for underpayment, accrued leave days, off days and service pay for the three years she had worked.

Bhamania was faced with the allegation but never responded to them.

“In conclusion, the court holds and finds in favour of the claimant on the basis of non-disputed facts that the termination was unfair and further that she was paid below the statutory minimum wage and awards her,” ruled Justice Radido.

In the case, the court heard that Rhobi was paid Sh2,560 as monthly salary of which she was underpaid by Sh106,944.

According to Radido, the set minimum pay for Mombasa then was Sh6,743 for a house servant.

“As stated, the claimant served the respondent for three years. She was entitled by law to one rest day per week. There are 52 weeks in a year and therefore the claimant was entitled to roughly 52 rest days in a year, or 156 rest days for the three years. The claimant is entitled to Sh46,488 in lieu of the rest day,” the judge found.

The judge in his 2014 judgment also found that she was not given a certificate of service and also she never enjoyed off days since 2008.

For the notice, the judge found that Rhobi was entitled to 28 days written notice and he gave her Sh6,743 as compensation.

Radido also tabulated Sh18,068 as pay for accrued leave days.

“The court finds that the termination of the claimant was verbal and contrary to sections 35 of the Employment Act in that no written notice was given; contrary to section 41 of the Act in that the claimant was not notified and heard prior to the termination,” he ruled.

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