We constantly liaise with the District Labour Office on matters relating to staff welfare & Management.
We have studied and consulted w ith the Labour Ministry on all aspects of the new Labour laws especially as concerns the following.
The Employment Act 2007.
The Labour Institutions Act 2007.
Work Injury Benefits Act 2007
The Occupational Health and Safety Bill 2007.
Labour Relations Act 2007.
THE NEW LABOUR LAWS
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEW LABOUR LAWS
Background and Introduction
- The review of the National Labour Laws has been a concern to both the Kenyan public and the Government for a long time.
- It arose out of tremendous changes experienced in the local labour market; such as:
- Structural adjustments
- Liberalization of the economy
- Technological innovations
• To ensure that the laws are responsive to contemporary economic and social changes.
• To achieve a new set of reformed updated labour legislation through a coordinated consultative process.
The Review Process
• In keeping with the tripartite tradition in our social dialogue and consultative machinery, a Task Force was appointed in May, 2001.
• It comprised representatives of Workers (COTU), Employers (FKE), the Government and experts in various fields.
• Its task was to comprehensively review and amend or repeal the following six (6) core labour statutes:
- The Employment Act, Cap 226;
- The Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act, Cap 229;
- The Trade Unions Act, Cap 233;
- The Trade Disputes Act, Cap 234;
- The Factories and Other Places of Work Act, Cap 514; and
- The Workmen’s Compensation Act, Cap 236.
- The Task Force repealed all the above six (6) pieces of legislation and came up with the following five (5) which have recently been enacted:
1. The Employment Act, 2007
2. The Labour Relations Act, 2007
3. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007
4. The Work Injury Benefits Act, 2007
5. The Labour Institutions Act, 2007
- Each Act incorporates the principles of the 1998 ILO
Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; thus ensuring the basic human values that are vital to our social and economic development.
Support to the Review Process
- The Task Force drew considerable financial and technical support from the joint GOK/ILO legislative reform initiative with the objective of achieving for the country a new set of reformed updated laws through a coordinated consultative process.
THE NEW LABOUR LAWS - SOME KEY PROVISIONS
The Labour Institutions Act, 2007
- Establishes and strengthens institutions which deal with labour administration and management of labour relations; such as the National Labour Board, the National Labour Court, Wages Councils and Employment Agencies
- The National Labour Court will be decentralized to the Districts and Provinces
The Employment Act, 2007
- Strengthens minimum terms and conditions of employment
- Prohibits forced and child labour, sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of disability, HIV/AIDS status, etc
- Provides for insurance scheme to benefit redundant employees
- Converts “casual employment” to “term contract”
- Raises age for definition of a “child” from 16 to 18 years. This harmonizes this definition with that in the Children’s Act
- Provides for 21 days’ annual leave for all employees; three(3) months’ maternity leave for female and 2 weeks’ paternity leave for male employees
- Safeguards workers’ dues in the event of employer’s insolvency
- Ensures that workers whose employers do not contribute to provident funds do not lose their benefits for years worked
- Migrant workers legally in Kenya will enjoy the same protection as indigenous workers
The Labour Relations Act, 2007
- Promotes protection of freedom of association for both employees and employers
- Streamlines registration of workers’ and employers’ organizations
- Promotes democratic practice in lawful collective groups
- Asserts individual and collective group rights
- Streamlines pre-Industrial Court trade dispute resolution machinery and gives specific time-frames for dispute disposal
- Minimizes room for interference with workers’ right to go on strike by setting out clear guidelines on protected strikes and lock-outs
- Provides for Alternative Dispute Resolution machinery
The Work Injury Benefits Act, 2007
- Modernizes legislation and brings it up to date with the current circumstances and realities
- Eliminates the “ambulance chasing” phenomenon
- Extends insurance cover and ensures adequate compensation for injury and work-related diseases regardless of employer’s solvency
- National Labour Court arbitrates compensation disputes
- Disallows subsequent common law claims
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2007
- Secures safety and health for people legally in all workplaces
- Prevents employment of children in workplaces where their safety and health is at risk
- Encourages entrepreneurs to set achievable safety targets for their enterprises
- Promotes reporting of work-place accidents, dangerous occurrences and ill health with a view to finding out their causes and preventing of similar occurrences in future
- Promotes creation of a safety culture at workplaces through education and training in occupational safety