Companies

Ex-insurer bosses lose Sh100m pay suit

case

Summary

  • Twenty-four former top managers of Heritage Insurance Company have lost bid to challenge a decision of the Court of Appeal that quashed a Sh100 million compensation made to them five years ago.
  • The former senior employees wanted to take the dispute to the Supreme Court, arguing that it involved matters of general public importance and interpretation of the law.

Twenty-four former top managers of Heritage Insurance Company, who were sacked when the company restructured its operations in 2015, have lost bid to challenge a decision of the Court of Appeal that quashed a Sh100 million compensation made to them five years ago.

The former senior employees wanted to take the dispute to the Supreme Court, arguing that it involved matters of general public importance and interpretation of the law.

They explained that the intended appeal goes beyond them and the former employer, as it related to the process of redundancy, which affects or is likely to affect each and every Kenyan citizen in employment.

But the Supreme Court judges dismissed the ex-employees request, saying they failed to demonstrate how the pay row was of public interest — one of the threshold for bring cases to the apex court.

The judges also found that the issues specified by the former managers as matters of general public importance were not framed as such before the Court of Appeal when the applicants sought certification to move to the Supreme Court.

"The applicants should have specified the said issues in their application before the appellate court for it to render its determination on the same. Consequently, in determining the instant application, we shall therefore be guided by the issues as raised by the applicants for certification before the Court of Appeal," said the Supreme Court while dismissing the application.

The ruling was rendered by acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung'u and Isaac Lenaola.

The former managers had been awarded a combined sum of Sh101,678,336 by Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Monica Mbaru in April 2016 after finding that their services were unfairly terminated by the company in 2015 during implementation of what the company said was a restructuring exercise to improve its business efficiency.

The redundancies were said to be necessitated by review of structures and implementation of the ICT systems. Some of the roles had been merged while others had been redefined.