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British American Tobacco to pay former employee Sh5 million for unfair dismissal

NYANZA
By Julius Chepkwony | October 14th 2021
[Courtesy]

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu has ordered British American Tobacco Kenya Limited to pay a former employee over Sh5 million as compensation after he was dismissed from work.

Justice Stephen Radido said that Julius Mark Bwibo was fired unfairly.

“The court finds and declares the termination of the claimant’s employment was unfair. The claimant is awarded compensation of Sh5,058,260. Interest at court rates on the compensation if not paid within 30 days,” read the judgment in part.

According to court papers, Bwibo was employed as a computer programmer in a letter dated December 29, 1989. He briefly left the company’s employment in 1995, but in March 1996, he was offered the position of business analyst. He later rose to the position of senior business analyst.

On May 3, 2013, Bwibo was notified that he had been sacked. He filed a lawsuit alleging that the termination of his employment was unfair and in breach of contract.

But British American Tobacco Kenya Limited said Bwibo was fired for under-performance.

The court heard that from January 25, 2012, to March 8, 2012, Bwibo held several meetings with his supervisors to discuss his performance for the previous year. On March 26, Bwibo was put on a performance improvement plan to run for four months until July 18.

His performance was reviewed again in February 2012, and one year later he was sacked.

The court noted that a reasonable employer would not have reverted Bwibo to his substantive role of a business analyst if he was not up to the task in the added function, considering that his ratings on the substantive role had been satisfactory all along. 

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