Work and Family

Work and Family in Kenya and the labour laws, including rules concerning family duties, paid parental leave, what is parental leave and how long is it for, parental leave policy

What does the law say about working parents?

The current labour law does not specifically provide for working parents, except for provision of three months maternity leave for a mother and two weeks paternity leave to a father (section 29, Employment Act, 2007).

What does the law say about pregnant women and mothers with young babies?

Protective legislation of women workers during pregnancy and after childbirth does not exist in Kenya. The Occupational Safety and Health Act does not provide any additional protection for pregnant employees in respect to pollution, and hazardous working environments.

Some entitlements during pregnancy, and breaks for breastfeeding are provided in selective collective agreements, without representing a general trend.
Parental leave is unknown.

What other benefits are due to nursing mothers?

A nursing mother is entitled to benefits that come with maternity leave and sick leave which include leave with full pay, and not being dismissed from employment because of her absence from work while on maternity leave.

What does the law say about paternity leave for a male employee?

The law clearly provides for two weeks paternity leave with full pay for working fathers (section 29, Employment Act, 2007).

Are there any arrangements for child care?

There are no provisions by law on child care. However some employers provide medical care for children of staff up to the age of 18 years and 21 years if still schooling.

Other organisations also provide clinics, schools, and kindergartens around their premises to support staff.

Do we as workers have any leave to attend to a sick child or deal with family issues?

The law provides for compassionate leave for such purposes. Subject to prior arrangement with the employer, an employee is granted compassionate leave without pay, but permission for such leave should be reasonable. Further the law provides that days taken for such leave can be deducted from annual leave (Regulations of Wages (General) Order, par. 9, subsidiary to the Regulations of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act (cap 229)).

Does the law provide for workers' career development and study issues?

The law is silent on such issues. However some employers grant examination leave and time off to enable staff to pursue courses.

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