Basic Facts

Kenya is located in the Eastern part of the African Continent, bordered by Ethiopia and South Sudan to the North, Uganda to the West, Tanzania to the South, Somalia to the North East, and the Indian Ocean to the South East. The country boasts of numerous unique tourist attractions and beautiful landscapes ranging from open Savannah, coastal beaches, and river deltas. Kenya lies on the equator and has a pleasant, tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors including altitude. 

The economy of Kenya is market-based with a few state enterprises. Major industries include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing, energy, tourism, and financial services.


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Kenya.

Capital :
Currency :
Kenyan Shilling (KES, KSh)
Languages spoken :
Swahili, English
Population :
54.96 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
Varies as per Industry and Location
Cost of Living index :
$$ (108 of 139 countries)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
7.5% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2023.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
April 7
Good Friday
Movable - Friday before Easter
April 10
Easter Monday
Movable - The first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox
April 22
Idd ul-Fitr
Movable - As per the Islamic Lunar calendar
May 1
Labor Day
June 1
Madaraka Day
June 29
Idd ul Azha
Movable - As per the Islamic Lunar calendar - In lieu of July 10
October 10
Moi Day/Utamaduni Day
October 20
Mashujaa Day
December 12
Independence Day/Jamhuri Day
December 25
December 26
Boxing Day
December 27
Christmas Holiday

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Kenya is 5 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • There are no provisions in the law regarding severance pay except when the reason for termination is due to redundancy.
  • A seven days notice period is required in the termination of a probationary contract.
  • Proof of reason for termination of employment is required by law, and where the employer fails to do so, the termination is deemed to have been unfair.

Labor Conditions

Working Hours

The general working hours are 52 per week, but the normal working hours usually consist of 45 hours of work per week, Monday to Friday eight hours each. Working hours are five hours on Saturday under the special Orders for different sectors subsidiary to the Regulations of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act.



Overtime plus time worked in normal hours per week may not exceed 116 hours in total in any period of two consecutive weeks. For night workers, the overtime limit is 144 hours per week, including normal working hours.

Overtime is payable at the hourly rate of 150% of regular pay during weekdays and at the rate of twice the basic hourly rate on Sundays and public holidays. 

Probation Period

A probationary contract is defined as a contract of employment, which is of not more than 12 months duration or part thereof, is in writing and expressly states that it is for a probationary period. The probation period must not be more than six months but upon agreement with the employee, it may be extended for a further period of not more than six months.


Termination Notice Period

Length of notice period may be set in the employment contract by mutual consent of employer and worker, provided that the period is more than that which is provided by the Act.

Nature of the ContractNotice Period
Daily wage contractNo prior notice required
Weekly/two-week basis contracts1 or 2 weeks respectively or payment of an equivalent in lieu of notice
Monthly basis contract28 days notice in writing or payment of the equivalent of a month’s salary in lieu of notice.
Probationary contract7 days’ notice or payment of equivalent of 7 days’ pay in lieu of notice.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

Every employee is entitled to no less than 21 working days of annual leave with full pay. Where the employee works for less than a year, the number of days will be reduced accordingly. An employer may, with the consent of the employee, divide the minimum annual leave entitlement into parts to be taken at different intervals.

Sick Leave

After two consecutive months of service with an employer, an employee is entitled to sick leave of not less than seven days with full pay from the employer and thereafter to sick leave of seven days with half pay, in each period of 12 consecutive months of service. This leave is subject to production by the employee of a certificate of incapacity to work signed by a duly qualified medical practitioner. 

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

A female employee is entitled to three months of maternity leave with full pay. On the expiry of the maternity leave, the female employee has the right to return to the job which she held immediately prior to her maternity leave or to a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favorable than those which would have applied had she not been on maternity leave. 


Paternity Leave

A male employee is entitled to two weeks of paternity leave with full pay from the employer.


Adoption Leave

Adoptive parents are entitled to one month’s pre-adoptive leave with full pay from the date of the placement of a child in their care and control. The employee eligible for pre-adoptive leave is required to notify their employer in writing of the intention of the adoption society to place the child in the custody of the employee at least 14 days before the placement of the child. Pre-adoptive leave is funded by the employer.

Other Types of Paid Leave

There is no legal provision under the labor laws of Kenya for other types of paid leave. 

Unpaid Leave

There is no legal provision under the labor laws of Kenya for unpaid leave. 

Statutory Benefits

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) offers social protection to Kenyan employees. Kenyans with an income contribute a percentage of their gross earnings so as to be guaranteed basic compensation in case of permanent disability, basic assistance to needy defendants in case of death, and a monthly life pension upon retirement. The implementation of the new Act awaits the conclusion of a pending court case. In the meantime, NSSF contributions are as per the provisions of the old Act. Employers and employees contribute 5% of gross earnings to the social security fund (i.e. KES 200 for the employer and KES 200 for employee).

Health Insurance

It is a statutory requirement for all employers to register with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and upon registration, they are issued with an employers code. They are then obligated to submit their employee’s monthly contributions to NHIF using the employer’s code. The contributions are graduated, with the minimum contribution being KES 150 and the maximum contribution currently being KES 1,700 per employee for employees earning more than KES 100,000 per month. 

There is no corresponding employer contribution.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance


The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides that persons who suffer an injury at the workplace are entitled to compensation under the Work Injury Benefits Act (WIBA). It is the responsibility of every employer to obtain an insurance policy for the safety, health, and wellbeing of their employees, working at the organization or business premises.

WIBA Insurance policy covers employers against legal liability under the Labor Laws about Health and Safety Act 2007. It compensates for bodily injury to employees due to accidents or occupational diseases arising out of and during the course of employees’ employment in the organization or business premises.

Unemployment Insurance


There is no provision in law for unemployment insurance and benefits in Kenya.

Public Pension

The National Social Security Fund Act, 2013 provides for old age benefit (pension) when the insured person (male or female) attains the age of 55 years or when they ultimately retire from regular employment. The insured has three payment options:

  • Purchase a life annuity from a registered insurer;
  • Take a partial lump-sum (all of Tier 1 and a maximum of one-third of Tier 2); and
  • Purchase an annuity with the remaining balance, or take a partial lump sum (all of Tier 1 and a maximum of one-third of the Survivor’s settlement is paid if the deceased had less than 36 months of contributions.

Other Statutory Benefits

Medical Attention


An employer has to ensure the sufficient provision of proper medicine for their employees during illness and if possible, medical attendance during serious illness. An employer has to take all reasonable steps to ensure that they are notified of the illness of an employee as soon as is reasonably practical after the first occurrence of the illness.



An employer has to at all times, at their own expense, provide reasonable housing accommodation for each of their employees either at or near to the place of employment, or pay to the employee such sufficient sum, as rent, in addition to the wages or salary of the employee, as will enable the employee to obtain reasonable accommodation. 

These provisions do not apply to an employee whose contract of service:

  • Contains a provision that consolidates as part of the basic wage or salary of the employee, an element intended to be used by the employee as rent or which is otherwise  intended to enable the employee to provide them with housing accommodation; or 
  • Is the subject matter of or is otherwise covered by a collective agreement that provides consolidation of wages.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.


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