Labour Relations

With knowledge economy spreading rapidly across the world, human resource is increasing becoming the backbone of every company that want to remain competitive. Understanding the existing labour laws would ensure harmony at the work place and eliminate conflict.
Kenya has enacted elaborate labour laws that every firm operating in the country and those eying the local market must understand. Taibjee Consultants would be at hand to take you through the fiver pieces of legislation summarized below.

The Labour Relations Act, 2007

The Act aims to consolidate the law relating to trade unions and trade disputes, to provide for the registration, regulation, management and democratisation of trade unions and employers organisations or federations, to promote sound labour relations through the protection and promotion of freedom of association.
It also offers encouragement of effective collective bargaining and promotion of orderly and expeditious dispute settlement, conducive to social justice and economic development and for connected purposes.
It says no person shall recruit members for the purpose of establishing a trade union or employers' organisation unless that person has obtained a certificate from the Registrar issued under this section.

The officials of a trade union or employers’ organisation shall be persons who are, or have been, engaged or employed in the sector for which the trade union or employers’ organisation is registered.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007

The Act provide for the safety, health and welfare of workers and all persons lawfully present at workplaces, to provide for the establishment of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health and for connected purposes.
It says every occupier shall ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of all persons working in his workplace., the provision and maintenance of a working environment for every person employed that is, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for the employees welfare.
It also says every occupier shall carry out appropriate risk assessments in relation to the safety and health of persons employed and, on the basis of these results, adopt preventive and protective measures to ensure that under all conditions of their intended use, all chemicals, machinery, equipment, tools and process under the control of the occupier are safe and without risk to health and comply with the requirements of safety and health provisions in this Act.

The Work Injury Benefits Act, 2007

The Act provides for compensation to employees for work related injuries and diseases contracted in the course of their employment and for connected purposes.
It says every employer shall obtain and maintain an insurance policy, with an insurer approved by the Minister in respect of any liability that the employer may incur under this Act to any of his employees.

It says also that an employee who is involved in an accident resulting in the employee’s disablement or death is subject to the provisions of this Act, and entitled to the benefits provided for under this Act.

It says written or verbal notice of any accident provided for in section 22 which occurs during employment shall be given by or on behalf of the employee concerned to the employer and a copy of the written notice or a notice of the verbal notice shall be sent to the Director within twenty-four hours of its occurrence in the case of a fatal accident.

The Employment Act, 2007

The Act is meant to repeal the Employment Act, declare and define the fundamental rights of employees, to provide basic conditions of employment of employees, to regulate employment of children, and to provide for matters connected with the foregoing.
It says no person shall use or assist any other person in recruiting, trafficking or using forced labour and no employer shall discriminate directly or indirectly, against an employee or prospective employee or harass an employee or prospective employee on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin, disability, pregnancy, mental status or HIV status.

It also says an employer shall pay his employees equal remuneration for work of equal value and an employer who employs twenty or more employees shall, after consulting with the employees or their representatives if any, issue a policy statement on sexual harassment.

The Labour Institutions Act, 2007
The Act was enacted to establish labour institutions, to provide for their functions, powers and duties and to provide for other matters connected thereto
It established the National Labour Board whose functions is to advise the Minister on all matters concerning employment and labour;  legislation affecting employment and labour; and any matter relating to labour relations among many others.

It also establishes an Industrial Court with all the powers and rights set out in the Act or any other law, for the furtherance, securing and maintenance of good industrial or labour relations and employment conditions in Kenya.

The full version of the Acts is also available at our download section

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