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Firm ordered to pay former employee Sh3.7m

Kisumu court ruled that Basco Paints Kenya must pay Anthony Yamo Sh3.7 million as compensation for unfair dismissal. [File, Standard]

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu has ordered Basco Paints Kenya to pay its former employee Sh3.7 million.

Justice Christine Baari ruled that Anthony Yamo, a former employee of Basco Paints, proved that he wasn’t accorded fair hearing by Basco Paints before being sacked on January 31, 2020.

Yamo, a marketing officer, had worked for Basco Paints Kenya in western region for 12 years.

Justice Baari ruled that an employer can no longer invoke a termination clause without disclosing to the affected employee the specific reasons for his sacking.

“The traditional power of the employer to terminate the services of an employee by simply invoking the termination clause in the employment contract, no longer holds. It’s not enough to terminate employment by notice or payment in lieu; it should be grounded on valid reasons and fair procedure,” she ruled.

Yamo was sacked for poor performance. The judge, however, said that Basco Paints Kenya did not provide proof showing they had given the employee a fair hearing.

“The termination notice stated that the reasons for Yamo’s termination was poor performance. He was not accorded an opportunity to respond to the issues raised, or be heard in relation thereto, contrary to the express requirements of Section 41 of the Employment Act and Section 4 of the Fair Administrative Actions Act,” ruled Justice Baari.

Yamo had sued his former employer for unfair dismissal, arguing that he hadn’t been accorded a fair hearing.

“I was given a termination notice on January 3, 2020, and the same was to take effect on January 31, 2020. Hence, the notice was less than the one month, which was required under my employment contract,” he said.

Basco Paints Kenya, on its part, argued it had followed the law in terminating Yamo’s contract.

“At the end of the notice period, we paid him a total of Sh516,602 on account of salary for the month of January, 2020 and for the accumulated leave days. This amount was the full and final settlement owed to him,” Basco Paints Kenya said in court.

Justice Christine Baari ruled that the paint manufacturer must pay Yamo Sh3.7 million as compensation for unfair dismissal.