A three-judge bench has directed Kenya Airways to pay 447 former employees Sh1 billion for unlawful dismissal.
Appeals Court judges Erastus Githinji, David Maraga and Agnes Murgor ordered KQ to pay each of the employees an equivalence of their six
months salary plus three months salary for failing to give notice before sacking them.
The judges held that the employees sacking was unlawful as it was done unprocedurally.
However, the court said their retrenchment and reason for doing so was justifiable.
KQ had retrenched the employees, saying it was going through financial hardship.
The national carrier shed 578 jobs last September to reduce its wage bill that had doubled from Sh6 billion in 2007 to Sh13.4 billion last year, prompting the workers to oppose the job cuts in court. About 131 workers accepted the layoff plan.
The number of Kenyan employees in the firm had grown from 3,729 to 4,170 during the period while that of foreign staff rose from 425 to 664.
In December last year, the workers got a relief when the Industrial Court ordered KQ to re-hire the 447 workers who had moved to court, before the carrier appealed the decision.