The court has halted Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) from paying yearly bonuses to its management. The decision is as a result of an appraisal dispute with unionised workers.

The dispute started in August last year when the Banking Insurance and Finance Union (BIFU) acquired “orders stopping the termination of any unionised employees’ services based on quarterly performance reviews.”

The workers are of the opinion that the appraisals were unfair and prejudiced and could, therefore, not be used to make such a drastic decision.

The union officials returned to the court after they learned that the management was to be paid 2017 bonuses at the end of March while excluding the union-member employees.

“BIFU reckons that failure to assess the performance of unionised employees in the last quarter of last year means seniors in management could not purport to have appraised themselves and qualified for bonuses, since their performance depends on that of the staff working under their supervision,” Charles Mwaniki wrote in an article.

“Interim exparte orders are hereby issued restraining the respondent from paying the 2017 staff bonuses to the management staff and entities of the group in line with the group staff performance bonus policy and the group remuneration policy on or before March 23 or any time thereafter until the hearing and determination of this application,” the Employment and Labour Relations Court said in the March 20 ruling.

KCB said in an affidavit that it has been using the existing appraisal scorecard as a tool to gauge performance since 2004. The bank also said it launched a staff performance bonus policy in 2013 without any opposition from the employees. Additionally, the lender stated the union-member employees declined using the existing scorecard for appraisal which made it impossible to gauge their performance because it is the only available tool.


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