Annual Leave and Holidays

Paid Vacation / Annual Leave

The Employment Act provides for annual leave to all workers on completion of one year of service. The full time workers are entitled to 1.75 days of annual leave for one month of service. This means 21 working days for 12 months of service.

In the event of termination of employment after an employee has completed two or more consecutive months of service of the 12 months leave-earning period, he/she is entitled to one and three-quarter days of leave with full pay for each completed month of service in that period to be taken consecutively. Thus a worker with 8 months of service is entitled to only 14 days of annual leave. A worker may receive payment in lieu of annual leave in case of contract termination/resignation and if the employee has accrued a number of leave days. In such case, employer is required to pay an employee not less than one and three-quarter days' worth wages for every completed month of service in that period. 

Annual leave may be taken under different intervals during the year. An employer may split the annual leave with worker's consent. However, the minimum length of annual leave, taken at one time and during the first 12 months of the entitlement of the annual leave, has to be at least two uninterrupted working days unless otherwise specified in the employment contract. Carrying over of annual leave is allowed however such leave has to be taken within 18 months of its eligibility. The annual leave does not include public holidays, weekly rest days and other types of leave allowed under the law.

The worker is entitled to receive his full pay for the period of annual leave. Full pay includes wages and salary at the basic minimum rate excluding any deductions from wages made by virtue of the Employment Act.

Source: § 28 of the Employment Act 2007; §9 of the Regulation of Wages (General) Order 1982

Pay on Public Holidays

Workers are entitled to paid Festival (public and religious) holidays.  Festival holidays are announced by Kenyan Government at the start of calendar year (usually 11 in number).  The public holidays are regulated under the Public Holidays Act. Constitution of Kenya also provides for national days as paid public holidays.

The public holidays are New Year's Day (January 01), Good Friday, Easter Monday , Labour Day (May 01), Madaraka Day (June 01), Idd – ul – Fitr (depends on moon sighting), Moi Day (October 10), Mashujaa/Kanyatta Day (October 20), Jamhuri (Independence) Day (December 12), Christmas Day (December 25), and Boxing Day (December 26).

Additional public holidays include idd-ul-Azha (depends on moon sighting) and Diwali (according to Hindu calendar), are specified to all the person belonging to the Islamic faith and Hindu faith respectively. The day in any year on which general election are held following the dissolution of Parliament and the day during which a President-elect is sworn in, are considered as a public holiday.

The Minister has the right to declare, by notice, any day to be a public holiday in addition or substitution of the days already considered as public holiday. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, workers are given a day-off on the following working day.

Sources: §9(3) of Constitution of Kenya 2010; §8 of the Regulation of Wages (General) Order 1982; Public Holidays Act 1984

Weekly Rest Days

Workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per week. Employment Act has not specified any day as a weekly rest day. The employer and the worker may agree to defer the worker’s weekly rest day. It may be rescheduled on the successive day or may be accumulated and taken at once as a fully paid leave of maximum fourteen days. Deferring of rest day is prohibited in case of young workers under sixteen years of age.

Source: §27(2) of Employment Act 2007; §6-7 of the Regulation of Wages (General) Order 1982

Regulations on Annual Leave and Holidays

  • Employment Act, 2007