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 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 2024.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
March 29
Good Friday
Movable - Friday before Easter
April 1
Easter Monday
Movable - The first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox
April 11
Idd ul-Fitr
Movable - As per the Islamic Lunar calendar
May 1
Labor Day
June 1
Madaraka Day
June 17
Idd ul Azha
Movable - As per the Islamic Lunar calendar - Only for Muslims
October 10
Moi Day/Utamaduni Day
October 20-21
Mashujaa Day
October 31
Only for Hindus
December 12
Independence Day/Jamhuri Day
December 25
December 26
Boxing Day

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-day notice period is required for 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 no more than 12 months duration or part thereof, and 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

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

Nature of the Contract Notice Period
Daily wage contract No prior notice required
Weekly/two-week basis contracts 1 or 2 weeks respectively or payment of an equivalent in lieu of notice
Monthly basis contract 28 days notice in writing or payment of the equivalent of a month’s salary in lieu of notice.
Probationary contract 7 days’ notice or payment of equivalent of 7 days’ pay in lieu of notice.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

Each 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 no 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 Kenya’s labor laws for other types of paid leave. 

Unpaid Leave

There is no legal provision under Kenya’s labor laws for unpaid leave. 

Statutory Benefits

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) offers social protection to Kenyan employees. Under the new National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act, employees are entitled to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Access to mortgage facilities
  • Retirement pension
  • Invalidity pension
  • Survivors’ benefit
  • Funeral grant


Employer Contribution

Employee Contribution




National Hospital Insurance Fund

Ksh. 150 to Khs. 1,700 depending on salary

Accident Insurance (WIBA)

0.1% – 0.2%

Training Levy (NITA)

Ksh. 50

Housing Levy



*NSSF Pension contributions are 12% of the pensionable earnings; 6% from the employee and 6% from the employer subject to an upper limit of Kshs.2,160. For the purpose of computing the NSSF dues, the Upper Earning Limit (UEL) will be Ksh.18,000 /= and the Lower Earning Limit (LEL) will be Khs.6,000 /=

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 employer code. They are then obligated to submit their employee’s monthly contributions to NHIF using the employer’s code. The contributions graduate, 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.

Employers usually pay around 0.1% for WIBA, depending on the insurer.

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.

NSSF Pension contributions are 12% of the pensionable earnings; 6% from the employee and 6% from the employer subject to an upper limit of KSh.2,160.

Other Statutory Benefits

Housing Levy

The major purpose of the housing levy is to provide affordable housing to Kenyan citizens.

Employers are required to deduct housing levy from the employee’s gross salary and remit together with the employer’s contribution as follows:

  • 1.5%of the employee’s gross monthly salary by the employee;

  • 1.5% of the employee’s monthly gross salary by the employer

Training Levy

The core function of the Training Levy (NITA) is to promote the highest standards in the quality and efficiency of Industrial Training in Kenya and ensure an adequate supply of properly trained manpower at all levels in the industry.

Employers pay Ksh. 50 per month towards the Training Levy.


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.