NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31- The Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped Barclays Bank from closing down its Africa Regional office in Nairobi.
Judge Monica Mbaru restrained the bank from doing so pending determination of an urgent case lodged by 21 sacked employees.
The bank has also been directed not to transfer their job functions currently vested at the Nairobi office to any other location.
“The respondents (Barclays Bank) are hereby restrained by themselves or through their agents or representatives or any persons claiming through them from closing down or ceasing operations of their Africa Regional Office in Nairobi,” Judge Mbaru ruled.
The aggrieved former employees have sued the bank for alleged discrimination in redundancy packages and redeployment.
The bank is said to be discriminating them by cutting down their employment and replacing them with residents of South Africa.
Gladys Muthoni Mwangi, on behalf of the rest claims that their constitutional rights have been gravely violated by the acts of the bank.
The bank has been blamed for not giving them full details of the restructuring programme prior to allegations that it intends to exit the local market.
“Ms Mwangi avers that the respondents are trying to make savings by cutting down the employment of the petitioners without adequate redundancy package and replacing them with residents of South Africa which amounts to discrimination on the basis of Nationality,” Mbaru said while making the ruling.
The 21 employees allege that the bank lacked transparency on the criteria for selection and determination of the redundancy package.
“The requirement for redundancy package have not been met and unless the court restrain the bank from closing down their Nairobi Office, the petitioners will suffer irreparable damage and loss,” says Muthoni.
The bank is said to have communicated that they intend to close the Nairobi regional office but never indicated that employees would be declared redundant.