Shoemaker Bata seeks millions for inflated staff salaries

Companies

Shoemaker Bata seeks millions for inflated staff salaries


Parents and their children shop at the Bata store along Tom Mboya Street. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Court documents indicate that Bata Shoe procured the services of the employment agency for the supply of labor.
  • In the agreement, the cobbler would pay a standard fee of Sh417,000 on a monthly basis, regardless of the number of workers engaged in the business.
  • Invoices were to be issued fortnightly and no payments were to be made until labor costs were approved.

Footwear manufacturer Bata Shoe Kenya has sued an employment agency demanding a refund of 32.5 million shillings, saying the company had inflated workers’ wages through inflated invoices.

The Shoemaker alleges that HR Strategic Partners Ltd inflated wages between January 2017 and February 2019 and is seeking reimbursement of the money.

Court documents indicate that Bata Shoe procured the services of the employment agency for the supply of labor.

In the agreement, the cobbler would pay a standard fee of Sh417,000 on a monthly basis, regardless of the number of workers engaged in the business. Invoices were to be issued fortnightly and no payments were to be made until labor costs were approved.

Bata, however, claims that an internal audit carried out in February 2019 revealed that he had overpaid 32.5 million shillings via inflated invoices. The company is now seeking reimbursement of the amount plus interest.

“The plaintiff further claims the right to trace the said sum of Kshs 32,595,981 to the hands of the defendants, jointly and severally,” Bata said in the case filed in the Nairobi High Court.

Bata sued the employment agency along with its directors, Moses Kinuthia and Teresia Wanjiru Njuguna, as well as the agency’s human resources assistant and financial officers. The agency was required to have at least two qualified supervisors to manage and supervise workers in its factory.

The shoemaker accuses the recruitment agency of inflating the invoices of hired employees, contrary to an agreement made by the companies. Furthermore, the Limuru-based company accuses the agency of covering up the matter and failing to document the labor provided.

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