Court okays KCB to release bonuses for its managers

Customers at a KCB branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Customers at a KCB branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has allowed KCB Group #ticker:KCB to release bonuses to its management staff.

The court Thursday lifted the order that stopped the bank from paying bonuses to employees who are not union members after the lender sought to amend an earlier court order arguing that the directive affects regional employees who are not party to the dispute.

The Banking, Insurance and Finance Union (Bifu), which had moved to court contesting staff appraisal on which the bonuses were based, obtained court orders in March stopping payment.

“...the orders dated March 20, 2018, are hereby varied… the bonuses for the management staff to be paid forthwith,” ordered Justice Onesmus Makau, adding that the decision applies to all entities under KCB Group. While lifting the orders, the court directed the bank to deposit Sh240 million in a joint account with lawyers representing the two parties  within seven days, being the amount of bonus due to unionised employees.

The lender, in papers filed by its law firm MMC Africa, argued that the orders stopping bonus payment should be lifted on the grounds that it affects its staff in Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan who are not part of the dispute.

Unionised employees will however have to await determination of the suit or further orders of the court before they can receive their bonus.

Union officials had gone to court after learning that managers, who are not members of the union, were due to be paid bonuses at the end of March to the exclusion of unionisable employees. The union said this is discriminatory.

Bifu said failure to assess the performance of unionisable employees in the last quarter of last year means that senior management could not purport to have appraised themselves and qualified for bonuses.