Kenya Airways Begins Sending Workers Home as Virus Bites Operations

Ahadi Kenya Trust Director Stanley Kamau (right) donates food to a resident of Murang’a rendered jobless by Covid-19.

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has started sending workers home to limit losses stemming from the Covid-19 menace.

In a letter addressed to staff on Monday, the airline said affected employees will receive their salary and all applicable allowances up to and including July 31, 2020.

The staff, the airline said, upon returning company property, undergoing an exit medical check-up with the KQ clinic and signing all necessary discharge documents, will also be paid a month's salary in lieu of notice.

"You will also be paid any amount including salaries owed by the company to you and accrued leave days as at July 31, 2020," said the airline's Chief Human Resource Officer Evelyne Munyoki in a note to an affected staff, a copy of which was seen by the Nation.

CONSIDER RE-HIRING

Ms Munyoki has, however, pledged to consider re-hiring them if need arises given the intensity of the assessment they went through before they were absorbed by the carrier.

Affected workers include clerks, ground operators, accountants, cabin crew, ground staff, inflight functions and cargo operations staff.

They were hired in 2019 and early this year with a big number receiving contracts early this year.

SERVING ON PROBATION

Sources at KQ familiar with the hiring process also intimated that a majority of them were still serving on probation.

Kenya Aviation Workers Union (Kawu) had moved to court to oppose their hiring, claiming KQ was bringing the employees on board on inferior terms.

On Tuesday, Kawu argued that the carrier should stop the layoffs as a dispute between the two parties as to how the workers were absorbed is still pending in court.

"When the workers were hired on cheap labour, we filed for contempt. The matter is still pending in court for determination," said Kawu Secretary General Moss Ndiema.

The carrier is sending home workers to help boost its operations at a time it has dropped direct flights to the United States and China.

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