Court orders KCB to pay Sh113m over unfairness

KCB Bank branch at Kipande House along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi. The bank has been ordered to pay Sh113m over unfairness. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

On the other hand, the starting salary for those on a fixed contract was never raised or reviewed.

At the same time, the permanent clerks were offered 28 annual leave days while their colleagues got 24. They were also entitled to Sh10,500 annual leave allowance while contract clerks did not qualify for the allowance.

Housing allowances and medical insurance cover were also different for the two groups. On one hand, permanent clerks were entitled to Sh11, 700 as house allowance while contract clerks were denied.

Meanwhile, contract employees were entitled to Sh300,000 and Sh50,000 inpatient and outpatient insurance limits while their colleagues on permanent employment had Sh650,000 inpatient cover and Sh130,000 outpatient cover.

Justice Mbaru heard that between 2014 and 2016 KCB did not offer its contract staff a medical cover while it offered their colleagues on permanent terms the same.

The bank was also accused of offering pensions to its permanent clerks while denying those on contract. Some of the contract clerks, the court heard, have worked for the bank for over eight years.

KCB opposed the case.

It argued that contract clerks were employed based on their distinct job application process which has different terms and conditions.

According to the lender, those on contract mutually agreed to sign the contracts and were bound to the benefits that they accepted during negotiations. It asserted that those who join employment on a fixed contract basis do so willfully.

The bank also denied that it has discriminated against its employees on contract adding that there was no evidence to support the same.

After hearing the arguments, justice Mbaru found that fixed-term contracts are legal.

The judge ordered KCB to pay Sh58 million for discrimination, Sh1.2 million for underpayment, Sh30,995, for pending leave days.

It will also pay each employee Sh31,500 for leave allowance, Sh424,800 as house allowance, Sh241, 657 and Sh7,200 meals allowance.