FDH Financial Holdings Limited says employees of its new acquisition, the previously wholly State-owned Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), will not get fresh employment contracts as they have been carried over.
But a human resources expert has faulted the arrangement, saying MSB employees should start afresh under their new employer, FDH Financial Holdings Limited.
The FDH Financial Holdings position has come in response to an inquiry by The Nation in the context of a letter MSB employees wrote to their management in the course of the sale where they raised a number of issues, including transparency, accountability and calculation of their benefits.
“If the process was transparent, management would have clearly shown us, the members of staff, the terms and conditions that surround the sale, our benefits and how they have been calculated (criterion/formula) and any other matters that directly relate to the sale,” reads in part the March 13 2015 letter to MSB chief executive officer (CEO) Ian Bonongwe copied to a number of institutions, including the Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament.
But in an interview on Sunday, FDH Financial Holdings Limited CEO Thom Mpinganjira said there will be no any benefits because there is continuity in their employment.
He said: “The agreement we signed with government does not talk about terminating contracts [of employees].”
Mpinganjira also said there has been no change in people’s benefits, including salaries.
But Jallison Chaguluka, a human resource management expert, said following the change in the ownership at MSB, there is need for the employees to have their dues so that they can start afresh with the new employers.
“They [MSB employees] were with a different employer. Now that the bank has changed hands, it is just proper that their contracts should be terminated and fresh ones issued. I am talking from my experience in HR issues,” he said.
Chaguluka pointed out that the work environment that existed at MSB when it was wholly owned by government might not be the same as is the case with FDH.
He warned of possible legal implications if the issue is not well handled.
In July this year, FDH Financial Holdings Limited took over a 75 percent stake in MSB after emerging the sole bidder.