Court News

Cavmont Bank ex-employees sue over benefits

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA
FORMER middle management employees of Cavmont Bank Limited have sued their former employer for removing them from the payroll before paying them their full benefits.

John Mwansa Kalinde and 40 others have argued that the bank’s move was contrary to the current statutory law on payment of redundancy benefits.
The former employees want the Lusaka High Court to order that the they have accrued the right to be paid the redundancy package under Clause N (I) of the applicable 2005 local management conditions of service which could not be unilaterally taken away from them.
They are also seeking a declaration that the bank’s imposition upon them of a redundancy package of two months’ pay for each year served under the new employment code , amounted to a unilateral variation of Clause N.(I) of the applicable management conditions of service and therefore, null and void.
Mr Kalinde and others want the court to declare that the bank was bound by the Minister of Labour’s directive under clause N.(i) of the applicable local management conditions of service of 2005.
They are also seeking an order for the payment of a redundancy package of three months’ pay for each year served with merged allowances less what they were paid.
They want a further declaration that the plaintiffs must be given equal treatment on staff loans and medical schemes which were given to the unionised employees and damages for breach of mutual trust and confidence.
Mr Kalinde and others wants the court to award them damages for breach of contract, a declaration that they be deemed to have remained on the payroll from the date of retrenchment until date of final payment and all salary arrears with interest. The 41 stated that they are former middle management employees of Cavmont bank who joined the bank on different dates ranging from the period 1990 to 2019.
They said they faithfully served the bank in various positions until August 2019 when they were declared redundant.
They stated that while in employment, their applicable conditions of service were contained in the local management conditions of service of 2005 which were supplemented by the Group Recruitment and Termination of Employment policies of 2015 and 2017 respectively.
The former workers stated that the bank had been facing financial challenges which have given rise to the restructuring of the bank.
The plaintiffs stated that the Group Recruitment and Termination Policy of 2016 in Annexure B provided for negotiation of the redundancy package.
Mr Kalinde and others stated that the bank paid the unionised employees a redundancy package of three months ‘ pay for each year served under section 26B of the existing employment Act ca 268 of the laws of Zambia which was also incorporated by reference into the applicable collective agreement.
They stated that the bank contrary to the applicable management conditions of service of 2005 refused to meet with the plaintiffs and instead imposed upon them a redundancy package of two months basic pay for each year served under the inapplicable new employment code Act no 3 of 2019 in clear breach of Clause N (i) of the management conditions of service of 2005.

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