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Employment (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2021


On 30th March 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Employment (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2021 (the “Amendment Act”). The Amendment Act amends the Employment Act 2007 with effect from 15th April 2021 to accord pre-adoptive leave to employed parents in whose care and control a child is placed.In summary, the Amendment Act provides that:

1.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;

2.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 fourteen days before the placement of the child; and

3.the notice is to be accompanied by documentation evidencing the intention of the adoption society to place the child in the custody of the employee, including a custody agreement between the employee and the adoption society and an exit certificate.

In the meantime, we have noted that there are various alerts and reports in circulation, supposedly summarizing a number of other changes to Kenyan employment laws brought about by the Amendment Act. We have confirmed that the principle change to the employment laws relates only to pre-adoptive leave as summarised above.

There is however, a draft Bill prepared by the Kenya Law Reform Commission that contains proposals for a number of other amendments to the employment law. From our inquiries, this draft Bill is yet to be placed before Parliament for consideration and enactment. It would appear that the information circulating in the public domain relates to the proposals in this draft Bill which has not been passed by parliament and signed into law.

We accordingly advise that you ignore any information relating to significant amendments to the Kenyan employment laws by the draft Bill.

This alert serves the purpose of general guidance and is not intended to constitute specific legal advice.

For legal advice with respect to this alert, please contact our Partner George Muchiri (Nairobi office) at George.Muchiri@CMS-DI.com or Senior Associate Collette Akwana (Mombasa office) at Colletter@CMS-DI.com