Kenya Labour Laws

  1. Kenya Labour law highlights

    The employment standards in Kenya are guided by the following major laws.

    1. The Employment Act, 2007
    2. The Labour Institutions Act, 2007
    3. The Labour Relations Act, 2007.
    4. The Occupational Safety And Health Act, 2007
    5. The Works Injury Benefits Act (WIBA) of 2007
  2. Probation in Kenya

    A probationary period shall not be more than six (6) months but it may be extended for a further period of not more than six (6) months with the agreement of the employee.

    A party to a contract for a probationary period may terminate the contract by giving not less than seven days’ notice of termination of the contract, or by payment, by the employer to the employee, of seven days’ wages in lieu of notice.

  3. Employee Leave

    1. Normal/Annual Leave in Kenya

      1. Number of days:

        An employee shall be entitled after every twelve consecutive months of service to not less than 21 working days of leave with full pay in each year. Where employment is terminated after the completion of more than 2 consecutive months of service, he/she is entitled to not less than one and three-quarter days of leave for each completed month of service.

      2. Leave allowance.

        There is no provision on leave allowance hence leave allowance is at employer discretion or as may be agreed between the parties

      3. Compensation during leave:

        Employee is entitled to full pay during the leave period.

    2. Sick leave in Kenya

      After 2 months of continuous service, an employee shall be entitled to sick leave.

      1. Duration.

        The duration of sick leave is a maximum of 30 days with full pay and thereafter to a maximum of 15 days sick leave with half pay in each period of 12 consecutive months of service.

        Thereafter after, the employer has the right to terminate employee services on medical ground upon receipt of a medical report by a registered medical practitioner.

      2. Procedure for getting sick leave.

        The employee must provide a certificate of incapacity to work signed by a duly qualified medical practitioner. The certificate should be produced at the earliest possible opportunity.

      3. Compensation during sick leave.

        After 2 months of continuous service with an employer, an employee shall be entitled to a maximum of 30 days sick leave with full pay and thereafter to a maximum of 15 days sick leave with half pay in each period of 12 consecutive months of service.

    3. Maternity leave in Kenya

      A female employee shall be entitled to 3 months maternity leave with full pay. On expiry of a female employee’s maternity leave, the female employee shall have the right to return to the job which she held immediately prior to her maternity leave or to a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favorable than those which would have applied had she not been on maternity leave.

      The employee must give a minimum 7 days’ notice in writing of her intention to proceed on maternity leave on a specific date and to return to work thereafter. The employee may be required to produce a certificate from a medical practitioner to proof delivery.

      1. Compensation during leave

        A female employee shall be entitled to full pay during maternity leave. Additionally the employee shall not lose her annual leave entitlement.

    4. Paternity leave in Kenya

      A male employee whose official wife has delivered a baby shall be entitled to paternity leave with full pay.

      1. Duration

        The employee shall be entitled to fourteen (14) calendar days as paternity Leave yearly.

  4. Public Holidays in Kenya

    Employees shall be entitled to paid rest during public holidays;

    1. Official public holidays in Kenya

      1. New Year’s Day – 01 January
      2. Good Friday – (exact day Varies)
      3. Easter Monday – (exact day varies)
      4. Labor Day – 01 May
      5. Madaraka Day – 01 June
      6. Eid al- Fitr (end of Ramadan, exact day varies)
      7. Moi Day – 10 October
      8. Mashujaa Day, formerly Kenyatta Day – 20 October
      9. Jamhuri Day – December 12
      10. Christmas Day – 25 December
      11. Boxing Day – 26 December
    2. Compensation on public holidays

      An employee shall be entitled to a day’s holiday with full pay on every public holiday during his or her employment. An employee who works on a public holiday receives, in respect of such work, pay at not less than double the rate payable for work on a day that is not a public holiday, that employee shall not be entitled to a day’s holiday with full pay in lieu of the public holiday

  5. Working hours and overtime in Kenya

    1. Working hours

      The maximum working hours for employees shall be forty eight (48) hours per week.

    2. Overtime

      Working hours shall not exceed forty eight hours per week and any extra hours shall be deemed to be overtime

    3. Compensation for overtime

      Where hours in excess of eight hours per day or forty eight hours per week are worked, they shall, in the absence of a written agreement to the contrary, be remunerated at the minimum rate of one and a half (1.5) times of the normal hourly rate if the overtime is on the normal working days, and at two (2) times the hourly rate where the overtime is worked on gazetted public holidays.

  6. Training and skills development in Kenya

    There is no Law Regulating occupational or on job training in Kenya. The only training mandatory in Law in Kenya is Occupational Safety Training.

    In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, it is the responsibility of an employer to provide instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure health and safety at work of his/her workers.

    1. Key highlights

    2. Funding training and skills development

  7. Remuneration

    1. Minimum wage in Kenya

      Kenya’s minimum wage is 6,000 Kenyan shillings per month for all workers. Kenya’s minimum wage was last amended on 1st-Jan-1884 and has largely been overtaken by time and actual wages for lowest paid workers are much higher than this

    2. Other regulations on income in Kenya

      Pay as You Earn (PAYE) – Filing by the employer is on a monthly basis by the 15th day of the month subsequent to the month in which payment was made. PAYE rates are calculated as follows;

      Resident individuals;

      1. Less 235,000 shs – nil
      2. Above 235,000 but Less 335,000 – 10% of the amount exceeding 235,000shs
      3. Above 335,000 but < less 410,000 – 20% of amount exceeding 335,000 shs.
      4. Above 410,000 shs – 25,000 shs plus 30% of amount exceeding 410,000 shs.

      Non- resident individuals

      1. Less 335,000 shs – 10%
      2. Above 335,000 but less 410,000 – 33,500 shs plus 20% of amount exceeding 335,000 shs.
      3. Above 410,000 shs – 48,500 shs plus 30% of amount exceeding 410,000 shs

      Where the chargeable income of an individual exceeds Ushs. 10,000,000, an additional 10% on the amount exceeding Ushs 10,000,000 per month.

      Individual Income Tax returns are filed by 30th September (1st Provisional return), 30th June (amended provisional Return) and by the end of six months after the end of the year (Final Return).

      The corporate tax rate under the Income Tax Act is 30% for resident companies and branches of foreign companies.
      The rate for individuals ranges from 10% to 45% depending on their chargeable income.

    3. Statutory Benefits in Kenya

      1. Social Security/Pension

        A worker contributes 5% of his gross monthly earnings while an employer contributes 10% of a worker’s gross monthly earnings.

      2. Medical

        There is no mandatory medical arrangement in Kenya

  8. Harassment at the Work Place under Kenya Law

    1. Discrimination

      Discrimination in employment shall be unlawful and for thepurposes of this Act, discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, the HIV status or disability which has the effect of nullifying or impairing the treatment of a person in employment or occupation, or of preventing an employee from obtaining any benefit under a contract of service.

      It shall be the duty of all parties, including the minister, labor officers and the Industrial Court to seek to promote equality of opportunity, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in employment

    2. Sexual Harassment

      Sexual harassment at workplace is prohibited by law. Any person who commits any act of sexual harassment is liable to imprison for one year.

      Every employer who employs more than twenty five employees is required to have in place measures to prevent sexual harassment occurring at their work place.

  9. Retirement in Kenya

    Official age of normal retirement in Kenya is 55 years which is a policy rather than a Legal matter as it is not provided in Law. There is no early retirement age in Law or by practice in Kenya

    1. Lay off/Redundancy law highlights in Kenya

      1. Termination
      2. Notice of termination
    2. Termination of Contract in Kenya

      The period of notice period depends with the length of contracts follows;

      1. Not less than 2weeks where employment is of more than 6months but less than 1year
      2. Not less than 1month where employment is of more than 12months but less than 5years
      3. Not less than 2months where employment is of 5 years but less than 10years
      4. Not less than 3months where employment is of more than 10years.
    3. Dismissal in Kenya

      An employer is entitled to dismiss summarily, and the dismissal is justified, where the employee has, by his or her conduct fundamentally broken his or her obligations arising under the contract of service.

      The law not list those grounds

      The employer shall, before reaching a decision to dismiss an employee establish the offence was committed beyond any reasonable doubt and give the employee a fair opportunity to defend himself and to appeal against the dismissal.

    4. Lay off/Redundancy law highlights in Kenya

      Employment Act 2006 does not specifically define lay off and redundancy and therefore seem to classify it as termination

      1. Criteria for Layoff/Redundancy in Kenya.

        Since this form of separation is not defined by law, the Employer must follow the criteria set for termination which is existence of a fair ground to terminate the contract

      2. Procedure for layoff redundancy/layoff Kenya

        There is no procedure defined in Law

      3. Terminal/Severance Pay Kenya.

        An employee who has worked for at least 6 months is entitled to severance pay in case of Termination or unfair dismissal.

        The Law requires the employee and employer to negotiate severance pay.

        In the absence of such a negotiated agreement the determination may be done by a labour officer

  10. Health and Safety

    1. Health and Safety Law in Kenya

      Occupational Health and Safety in Kenya is Regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2006

    2. Death and Disability Compensation in Kenya

      The Compensation for Injury death or disability in Kenya is regulated by the Workman Compensation Act of 2006

      Under this Act employers are responsible for full compensation for injuries, incapacity or death resulting from accidents or occupational disease.

      Employers are required to take out a suitable Insurance.

      1. Death compensation

        Compensation for death as result of industrial accident is 60 months salary

      2. Disability compensation.

        Compensation for disability will depend on degree of disability as assessed by a Medical Practitioner.

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