The Labour court has ruled against the Nairobi Hospital in a legal battle over the revision of its employees’ working hours from 40 to 45 per week.

The court said Friday that the move by the hospital which was done without consultation of employees is “unattractive”.

“There must have been a public policy consideration behind the statutory requirement to consult with the employee before revising the prescribed employment particulars,” Justice Stephen Radido said in his ruling.

He added that promotion of social justice in the workplace is recognised by the International Labour Organisation and that social justice in the workplace cannot be realised without dialogue between the tripartite partners.

The ruling comes after the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) moved to court to stop the revision of working hours of the hosptial’s health workers from 40 a week to 45 per week.

In a signed affidavit, the Nairobi KMPDU branch secretary Thuranira Kaugiria said the facility is adamant that those who fail to comply with the new policy have been told that they may face adverse action including citation, disciplinary action, victimisation and or termination.

Nairobi Hospital had sent a memo to its staff informing them that due to the nature of the hospital’s operations as a 24-hour essential services provider all employees are required to work 45 hours a week, or 180 hours per month and be flexible depending on the required work arrangement and business exigencies.