At the resumed hearing of the 12 Core Staff of Fidelity Bank Plc. on September 22, 2017 at the National Industrial Court in Lagos on non-payment of retirement benefits from its employer, the defendant, Fidelity Bank denied the staff of non being a core staff of the bank. It said most of the staff were not employed by the bank and have not served the fifteen years required by the bankâ€™s policy on retirement, hence they are not entitled to the claims they are requesting the bank to pay.
In one of their claims it states, â€œThe defendant (Fidelity Bank Plc) denies the averments in paragraph 3 of the statement of facts and hereby states that the 1stClaimant was employed by Fidelity Union Securities Limited (not the Defendant) by a letter dated 24 September 2001. The said entity, i.e. Fidelity Union Securities Limited is a distinct and independent organization from the Defendant herein.â€
The bank states that those that were given Long Service Award and were subsequently paid benefits were done in error by the bank. Their claims was contrary to all other staff who retired before this time which includes the Drivers who were employed by Fidelity Bank subsidiaries but were paid the retirement benefit without denial. The retirees believe what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The bank further states that â€œits letter dated 23 October 2013Â and 31 August 2015 together with the certificates issued to the 2nd Claimant for Long Service Awards (10 years and 15 years, respectively) were issued in error and did not comply with the Defendantâ€™s Personnel Policies and Procedure Guide and did not confirm that the 2nd Claimant had attained 15 years unbroken service period as core staff of the Defendant applicable for purposes of benefit under the Staff retirement benefits scheme. The Defendant hereby reserves its right to counterclaim against the 2nd Claimant for all the sums awarded under the erroneously issued letters above.â€
The bank have requested all staff involved to furnish it with the Letter of Employment and all other documents relating to their service with the bank.
The end might not yet be heard as the Lawyers to the 12 staff of the bank have prepared their defence to be heard in a matter of days at the National Industrial Court situated in Lagos.
The judgement of this legal battle will either make or mar the benefits of other staff who were still in service and were in the same category of the retired staff. They are keenly interested on the outcome of this historic judgement whenever it is delivered.
Hearing continues on October 12, 2017.
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