3 Standard Bank managers dismissed over sex related offence

Three Standard Bank managers who allegedly witnessed a sex scandal between a senior manager and a staffer during an internal staff party in 2012 have been dismissed from work.

The three managers are Phumzile Magagula, Aldona Lapidos and Mandla Nxumalo and they were all Executive Accountants in the Corporate and Investment Banking division (CIB) of the bank, Mbabane.

They were served with the letters notifying them of their redundancies and termination of their employment yesterday.

The letters were written and signed by Phil Mnisi who is the bank’s Chief Executive.

“We refer to the various meetings and consultations we had and in particular to the restructuring of the CIB department. Standard Bank has considered your input with regard to the implementation of the new structure in particular as it affects your positions. Standard Bank has considered that you do not wish to be part of the new structure and insist that the old structure should be retained,” reads part of the letters.

In the letters, Mnisi further stated that the three managers also indicated that they were not interested in being redeployed to any position within the bank.

The chief executive said in their view, the Labour Commissioner had correctly pointed out that the decision to restructure was within the discretion of the employer.

“In the circumstances you are advised that your positions in the bank are abolished with effect from July 7, 2014. Having consulted with you and there being no alternatives to your redundancy you are hereby advised that your services are hereby terminated by reason of redundancy with effect from noon on July 8, 2014,” stated Mnisi in the letters.

Mnisi also informed the managers that they would be paid in lieu of notice and their statutory terminal benefits together with their contractual terminal benefits which would be calculated and paid to them by close of business yesterday.

On July 1, 2014 the Industrial Court issued an interim order interdicting and restrained the bank from putting the three managers on compulsory leave.

The court also suspended the letters directed to the managers dated June 27, 2014, where they were informed that they were being placed on paid leave.

“The court also ordered Standard Bank to restore the applicants’ (three managers) access to all systems and all other amenities enjoyed by employees of the bank,” read part of the order.

On March 5, 2014 the managers were notified in writing of changes to their terms and conditions of employment.

Restructuring

In terms of the notification, they were advised that their roles as accounts executives were affected by the restructuring and they were required to apply for positions in the new structure that was being introduced.
It is alleged that it was also explained that if they were unsuccessful they could apply for other roles within the bank.

They were further allegedly informed that if there were no suitable roles in the other departments they would be declared redundant and paid only statutory benefits comprising a month’s notice pay and severance pay.

The managers alleged that they were informed that they would not be paid exit packages.

In their application they stated that they viewed this as effectively dismissing them without due process because before then, they were employed on permanent and pensionable basis, and after the notification their employment depended on being accepted for the roles in the new structure or roles within the bank.

The notification is said to have introduced new terms and conditions that were less favourable than the terms the three had previously enjoyed.

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