How to setup leave days for your employees and business (Part 1)
Why you should setup a leave management system for your business
Leave days are a fundamental right of employees, protected by law and as an employer the government can put you to task if you don’t as a minimum provide leave days as defined in the Kenya Employment Act.
There are several steps to setting up a leave system, first you need to be aware of the types of leaves that all employees are entitled to as gazette by the Kenyan government. These are:
This is the leave everyone knows about, the one an employee takes to go on holiday, funeral or do their own private thing. Section 28, subsection (1)(a) of the employment act; An employee shall be entitled to not less than twenty-one working days of leave with full pay after twelve consecutive months of service. In this case the employee earns 1.75 days for each completed month of the work.
Female employees are entitled to three months maternity leave with full pay with the option to return to the job help prior to the leave.
A male employee is entitled to two weeks paternity leave with full pay
An employee who has worked for more that two months consecutively is entitled to a sick leave of at least 7 days with full pay and thereafter 7 days with half pay, in each period of twelve months. However, this is subject to the production of a sick note by a qualified medical practitioner.
The employment act also requires the employer to ensure the employee gets medical attention including medicine during illness and this is the reason most employers provide medical cover.
Added through the employment (Amendment) Act, 2015 Section 2 Subsection 29A; An employee who is adopting a child, whether male or female will be entitled to adoptive leave.
How this helps your business
- A well implemented days off system helps improve employee satisfaction and working conditions which goes a long way towards motivating them. In addition, taking time off to rest is important for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Healthy, well-motivated employees will work more efficiently and serve your customers better. Also as a business owner, it is a good idea to adhere to the leave days as it improves awareness of your time off and sets a good example for junior employees.
- Therefore, setting up a properly working leave or days off system is a low-lying fruit that is a must have for every business that is looking to increase profits and revenue to the next level.
Other sick leave requirements
- It is important to ensure all employees are covered under the government medical cover (NHIF) as under the act, the burden of covering medical costs that exceed the given cover will automatically fall to the employer, if the employee has no government medical cover.
For Adoptive Leave:
- If the child is less than three years of age, the employee will be entitled to three months adoptive leave with full pay.
- Above three years of age but below twelve years, the employee will be entitled to two months adoptive leave with full pay.
- Above twelve years of age, the employee will be entitled to one month’s leave with full pay.