Dismissed civil servants entitled to full benefits regardless of modality of exit, Court rules
Dismissed civil servants are entitled to their full retirement package, a court has directed, sending the Public Service Commission (PSC) back to the drawing board over its decades-long practice of denying those sacked pension, gratuity and other benefits.
Citing various laws, including the repealed Service Commission Act, Public Service Commission Act, 2017 and the Pensions Act, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that denying the officers such benefits is unconstitutional and a violation of the right to property.
Following the court decision, PSC on October 21 directed all authorised officers in government to inform officers exiting the government of their right to accrued benefits, “irrespective of the modality of exit”.
The letter by PSC Chairman Anthony Muchiri addressed to “All authorised officers” noted that following the court directive, the public service would start settling all accrued benefits to officers sacked from the government.
The commission is cognisant of decisions by the Employment and Labour Relations Court which have given guidance that any provision that requires persons who are dismissed from service to forfeit all claims to pension is unconstitutional as it contravenes the clear provisions of Articles 41(1) and 2(b) on fair labour practices and working conditions, Article 40 on the protection of the right to property and Article 43(1)(e) on the right to social security,” the letter by Mr Muchiri stated.
The letter recognised that while the law previously empowered the public service to deny dismissed officers benefits, the court’s decision marked the end of the practice.
“The courts have further guided that entitlement to pension, gratuity or any social benefit is a right to property within the meaning of Article 40 of the Constitution. The courts have found it unconstitutional and a violation of the right to property to negate enjoyment of such property or right to such property attained over time,” Mr Muchiri stated.
“In this regard, you are directed to inform officers exiting the service of their right to terminal accrued benefits irrespective of the modality of exit. Please note and take action accordingly,” added the letter.
While unveiling the key points in the audit result undertaken last month by the Directorate of Personnel Management (DPM), governor Nadhif noted that he was shocked by the outcome. A committee was appointed to handle the matter as more staff stare at losing their jobs #Garissa pic.twitter.com/vOSeP24hjA
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) November 12, 2022
The decision will be a relief to hundreds of civil servants who have been sacked in the past and forced to go home without a penny.
In the PSC’s latest annual report – 2020/21 – at least 130 employees were dismissed from the service, forming about 2.8 per cent of officers who exited the service during the year.
Public servants exit service through retirement under the “50-year” rule, the mandatory age of 60 and 65 years and medical grounds, death, transfer of service, dismissal, termination of the contract, and the abolition of office.