Labour Court Directs KURA To Compensate Former HR Manager Over Unfair Termination Of Contract 

The Director General of Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KURA) and his Board have been ordered to compensate a former employee over the unfair termination of a contract. The order was made by the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi. 

Judith Odhiambo will be paid a three-month salary in lieu of notice amounting to Ksh.1, 934,625 and twelve month’s salary as compensation for the unfair and un-procedural termination of a contract all amounting to Kshs. 7,738,500.

In a ruling dated 31st July 2023 by Judge Nzioki wa Makau, he termed the termination of Odhiambo’s employment on 13th September 2021 as unfair, un-procedural and against the law governing fair labour practices and dismissed KURA Board’s decision to terminate her contract. 

Odhiambo was appointed as the Human Resource Manager on a three-year renewable contract in early 2018. She averred that her position was later reviewed to be Deputy Director – Human eResource & Administration through the KURA’s letter dated 7th December 2018. 

On 30th June 2021, she received a letter from the KURA Board of Directors stating that her contract had been extended for three (3) months and instructing her to present her performance appraisal for the year 2020/2021 for consideration by the Board. That when she subsequently presented her performance appraisal in which she was rated ‘very good’, she received a letter from the Board on 13th September 2021 declining the request for contract renewal and effectively terminating her contract effective 30th September 2021. 

The Director of Corporate Services, Mr. Dan Manyasi asserted that the Board, in its meeting of 10th September 2021, deliberated on Odhiambo’s request for renewal of contract and decided not to renew her contract because of unsatisfactory performance.  In her Submissions, Odhiambo sought for withdrawal of the termination letter issued to her and for reinstatement of her employment for the reason that the letter was irregular and/or issued by an unqualified person. 

Further, she claimed that the decision to terminate her had been made by an unqualified person, the same stood illegal, null and void.  The judge noted that the evidence before the Court demonstrates clearly that KURA’s Board fell into a trap that some State Corporations are increasingly falling into where contract renewals are treated like a casual affair. 

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