By The Weekly Vision
The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi has ordered Nairobi City County Savings and Credit Society (NACICO) to compensate a former employee whose employment was terminated unlawfully. In a ruling dated 22nd June 2023 by the Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Hon. Justice Byram Ongaya, Daniel Wambua’s application was merited and the judge ruled “In conclusion judgment is hereby entered for the claimant against the respondent for payment of Ksh. 1, 860, 434.52”
According to court findings, NACICO management forced Mr Wambua to join the management team and thereafter failed to renew the expiring contract upon extraneous considerations outside the terms of the renewal clause. The Court considered the highhanded and unlawful behaviour of NACICO and Mr Wambua’s long clean service. Records available indicate that he was employed by the NACICO on 03rd March 1989 as a registry clerk. It is his case that he was to retire at the age of 55 years by relevant government policy.
In 2009 the government increased the mandatory retirement age to 60 years. NACICO raised the retirement age for its staff to 60 years and Wambau said he was due to retire on 21st August 2022 under that policy. However, Wambua claimed that in June 2016 NACICO unilaterally altered his terms of service without consulting him and on 27th June 2016 NACICO forced him to sign a two-year contract of service. He says the contract was forced down his throat as he signed it under duress and threats of being sacked as well as misrepresentation.
It was revealed that Wambua was threatened that he would lose his job if he did not sign the two years fixed term contract and was promised he would retain the vacated position after the two-year contract.
Further, it cannot be said the reason for termination was fair as it deviated from the contractual terms of the renewal clause and did not relate to NACICO’S operational requirements or Wambua’s contact, compatibility or capacity. It was unfair in substance and procedure.