Struggling bank Absa Kenya (formerly Barclays) is on a retrenchment spree.
According to sources, the bank plans to fire about 250 staff members in a cost-cutting drive but has so far retrenched 100 people.
A foreigner by the name David Hardisty is the one leading the retrenchment and redundancy drive.
Credible sources indicate that colleagues are in a panic mode as the South African lender seeks to erase the Barclays culture.
“Some staff members were asked to take voluntary early retirement in November 2020. Others were issued with redundancy letters in January 2021”, said a source.
Most senior staffers are expected to be asked to leave anytime from now.
This comes two months after the lender released hundreds of junior employees in a Voluntary Exit Scheme (NES) that is aimed at cutting costs.
“Last month, I announced a Voluntary Exit Scheme (NES) via a Circular dated November 25, 2020. We have reviewed all VES applications and the process is in its final stages. I take this opportunity to thank all Colleagues that volunteered to participate in the scheme. We were however not in a position to accommodate all Colleagues who applied for the VES due to business priorities aligned to their roles We appreciate that those who were unsuccessful will be disappointed but sincerely hope that they will take this as an endorsement of their contribution to the success of the business,” said managing director Jeremy Awori in December 2020.
Immediately after the VES programme, the Awori announced that in the second phase of restructuring, employees in the management level.
“Consequently, we will be proceeding with a second phase of the restructuring process which will entail carrying out some redundancies in our Management cadre. The process will commence immediately and will include consultation and engagement with the Colleagues that are at risk of redundancy,” said Awori.
In 2020, the bank’s net profit in the first nine months of 2020 fell by 65% to Sh1.9 billion, from Sh5.6 billion reported in the same period in 2019. – Stuggling Bank
Pegging a mass sacking of staff on non-performance is easier done on junior staff since most don’t have the financial muscle to challenge the bank in court. The bank also wants to escape the responsibility of paying them ‘a parting fee. According to labour laws, redundant staff must be paid full pay calculated for each year worked.