Agribank reluctantly agrees to pay managers

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Windhoek

The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has confirmed that it will pay its three managers inconvenience allowances that have been outstanding for the past seven months, since January.

This came after Otjiwarongo Agribank branch manager Wylie Upi, Midlands branch manager Kamaauu Nandova and recovery manager Sibolile Simasiku threatened to drag the bank to the labour court over unpaid inconvenience allowances.

The trio were in 2011 transferred to various duty stations, and in this regard the bank committed itself to cover an amount of N$3 500 in rental payments at the new duty station until the move from the old station was complete.

However, the board of directors unilaterally stopped the payment of inconvenience allowances of the trio by notifying them in October 2014 that the phasing out would apply as from February 2015.

Law firm Clement Daniels Attorneys that represented the employees lamented the decision by the bank, saying that phasing out the payment of inconvenience allowances without consultation in October 2014 unilaterally altered a condition of employment of their clients, which is regarded as an unfair labour practice in terms of section 50 (1) (e) of the Labour Act 2007.

“Our clients are currently left in the dark as to whether they can rely on the inconvenience allowance in future or not,” reads the letter addressed to the bank’s CEO Leonard Iipumbu.

The attorneys said they considered such conditional and temporary retraction of the decision as insufficient, vague and unacceptable.
In a letter on Monday the bank through is lawyers Conradie and Damaseb said it will undertake to reinstate the payment of the inconvenient allowance with immediate effect as from 1st January 2016 until 31 December 2016.

“Arrear pavements from 1st January 2016 to 31st July 2016 will also be paid,” reads the letter, a copy of which was availed to New Era.

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