200 Nairobi Hospital staff are facing a sack following a nod from the High Court. The staff had been implicated in a recent graft scandal at the facility.
The Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels Educational Institutions Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) had moved to the Employment and Labour court to stop the hospital from laying off the staff.
The union accused the hospital of targeting its members, and that the restructuring was done contrary to the provisions of the employment act.
Justice Nzioki wa Makau dismissed the petition by the union, ruling that it was premature, as a letter by the Nairobi Hospital dated March 10, was meant to open room for talks between the two parties.
The hospital had stated that it wished to fire employees who were performing poorly and some who had been involved in graft as revealed by a recent forensic audit.
“Besides the staff affected by normal rationalisation, the hospital is disengaging with all staff who have perennial performance issues or were implicated in unethical practices during forensic audits,” a statement by Nairobi Hospital read in part.
Justice Makau highlighted that the Nairobi Hospital letter was meant for negotiations, thus ruling that the two parties hold a dialogue to resolve the matter.
“Since courts loath to interfere with the managerial prerogatives, the matters at play are within the purview of the parties to deal under the resolution mechanisms provided for in the CBA and through the conciliatory process at the Ministry of Labour,” Justice Makau ruled.
The hospital has recently experienced financial woes, owing to the ballooning operational costs and low revenue brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic.