- 150 former employees of international money transfer company Sendwave Limited in Kenya are threatening to take legal action after the company retrenched them on May 16, 2023.
In the letter dated May 24, 2023, whose seven-day notice elapsed on Thursday, the laid off employees are demanding that Sendwave withdraws the redundancy letter to allow for negotiations on a variety of issues.
- Sources have told Swala Nyeti the lawyers representing Leon Ngaira and 149 other Kenyan employees are drafting another letter to Sendwave insisting their demands must be met.
150 former employees of international money transfer company Sendwave Limited in Kenya are threatening to take legal action after the company retrenched them on May 16, 2023.
The workers, who majorly worked remotely in Kenya, accuse the firm based in London, UK, of suddenly and wrongfully terminating their employment without any consultation.
“On 16th of May 2023, you called for a supposed townhall meeting where you notified the employees that 154 positions would be declare redundant without prior notification and consultation of the employees of the intended actions which would have significant impact on their lives,” read a demand letter to Sendwave by Wangila Waliaula for MAW Advocates.
In the letter dated May 24, 2023, whose seven-day notice elapsed on Thursday, they demand that Sendwave withdraws the redundancy letter to allow for talks on raised issues.
Among the issues the 150 laid off Kenyans are demanding from Sendwave is negotiations on proper compensations, full salary for May in lieu of the statutory notice of redundancy be paid, payment of housing allowance from the time of employment and an extension of their medical cover until the end of 2023 to cushion them from further affliction.
But in a rejoinder to the demand letter, in exchanges which Swala Nyeti is in possession of, Sendwave insists that it followed due process in executing the layoffs as it automates some of its operations “to increase its efficiency.”
“The selection was based on a rigorous and fair process with due and kin regard to the Employment Act, 2007 and all other applicable laws,” read the Sendwave response written by their legal team led by Lorna Mbatia.
Sendwave insists the layoffs were done above board and the affected employees informed on a number of occasions before issuance of the redundancy notice dates May 16, 2023.
“It is quite unfortunate that you seek to convert the narrative into a discrimination matter, when the entire redundancy process was fair and without any racial bias,” the response read.
It went on “In fact, the redundancy is not only happening in Kenya, but on the global scale of 421 heads across 13 countries in all continents.”
In the letter, the foreign firm undertook to pay each remote Kenyan worker a certificate of service, salary up to termination date, ex-gratia payment, pay in lieu of notice, any vested shares and/or equity awards and outstanding accrues holidays until termination date.
The money transfer company has further undertaken to pay all the affected employees their house allowances, which had not been remitted, backdated to their dates of employment.
But Sendwave remained adamant it will not withdraw the redundancy letter as demanded by the laid off employees but will pay their salaries until the redundancy takes effect.
Sources have told Swala Nyeti the lawyers representing Leon Ngaira and 149 other Kenyan employees are drafting another letter to Sendwave insisting their demands must be met.