Employ Candidates Compliantly in Kenya

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  1. Overview: Kenya
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Kenya

The knowledge, skills and experience of the specialists of Acumen International will become your competitive advantage. We provide the possibility of forecasting risks, indicate a map of day-to-day operations.

Using the services of Acumen International, you will be able to fully appreciate such advantages as: increasing the level of performance of non-core business processes, lack of capital costs for the organization of internal services, the possibility of reducing financial costs, and administrative costs.

The war for global talent has never been tougher. Attracting and keeping sought-after international employees requires knowledge. Whether your company is already engaging or planning to engage global workforce in Kenya, you need to trust that your operations are executed without flaw and without any unnecessary risks.

Businesses of all sizes face a devastating lack of information and support on global employment, taxation, and immigration in Kenya. There’s a common and significant gap between what’s required to be 100% compliant and what most organizations actually have at their disposal.

Acumen International can fill the gap in fragmented Global HR Compliance knowledge

We are experts in global workforce employment in Kenya, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

We act as an information service for corporate clients, agencies, and independent contractors and freelancers. Our Global HR Compliance service in Kenya will help you:

  1. Navigate legislation and local nuances of Kenya. You need to know what is acceptable and what can expose you to employment litigation as well as employee / independent contractor misclassification risk in Kenya.
  2. Avoid areas of possible risk. Certain areas and activities can create unnecessary risk, such as employer-employee relations. We can help you with worker classification, payroll and tax calculations, and social cost contributions.
  3. Handle currency exchanges and local invoicing in Kenya. We save you time and effort, freeing you from having to understand complicated regulations and tax calculations written in the local language and subject to frequent changes.
  4. Create employment contracts and handle compliant engagements. Our objective is to assist you with international HR compliance issues and offer you the best payment and taxation options in Kenya.
  5. Manage expatriate immigration and visa support nuances in Kenya. Acumen International provides information about the best scenarios of expat immigration and employment.
  6. Handle global recruitment issues. We can help you select the person and then employ him with our help. We advise you on local employment laws and implied compliance risks to determine the most cost-effective, compliant, and risk-free solution for you.
  7. Withdraw from the region in the least risky and most cost-effective way. If you choose to do so, we can help you withdraw from the region as simply as possible.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Kenya.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Kenya Guide

# Employment contracts
A contract of service:

  • for a period or a number of working days which amount in the aggregate to the equivalent, of three months or more; or
  • which provides for the performance of any specified work which could not reasonably be expected to be completed within a period or a number of working days amounting in the aggregate to the equivalent of three months, shall be in writing.

An employer who is a party to a written contract of service shall be responsible for causing the contract to be drawn up stating particulars of employment and that the contract is consented to by the employee. For the purpose of signifying his consent to a written contract of service an employee may:

  • sign his name thereon; or
  • imprint thereon an impression of his thumb or one of his fingers in the presence of a person other than his employer.

Where an employee is illiterate or cannot understand the language in which the contract is written, or the provisions of the contract of service, the employer shall have the contract explained to the employee in a language that the employee understands.

# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in Kenya

# Hours of work:
An employer shall regulate the working hours of each employee in accordance with the provisions of written law. Notwithstanding subsection, an employee shall be entitled to at least one rest day in every period of seven days.

# Annual leave:
An employee shall be entitled:

  • after every twelve consecutive months of service with his employer to not less than twenty-one working days of leave with full pay;
  • where employment is terminated after the completion of two or more consecutive months of service during any twelve months’ leave-earning period, to not less than one and three-quarter days of leave with full pay, in respect of each completed month of service in that period, to be taken consecutively.

An employer may, with the consent of the employee divide the minimum annual leave entitlement under the legislation into different parts to be taken at different intervals. Unless otherwise provided in an agreement between an employee and an employer or in a collective agreement, and on condition that the length of service of an employee during any leave-earning period entitles the employee to such a period, one part of the parts agreed upon shall consist of at least two uninterrupted working weeks.

The uninterrupted part of the annual leave with pay shall be granted and taken during the twelve consecutive months of service referred and the remainder of the annual leave with pay shall be taken not later than eighteen months from the end of the leave earning period in respect of which the leave entitlement arose. Where in a contract of service an employee is entitled to leave days in excess of the minimum, the employer and the employee may agree on how to utilize the leave days.

# Parental leave:
A female employee shall be entitled to three months maternity leave with full pay. On expiry of a female employee’s maternity leave the female employee shall have 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.


  • the maternity leave has been extended with the consent of the employer; or
  • immediately on expiry of maternity leave before resuming her duties a female employee proceeds on sick leave or with the consent of the employer on annual leave; compassionate leave;
  • or any other leave, the three months maternity leave shall be deemed to expire on the last day of such extended leave.

A female employee shall only be entitled to the rights if she gives not less than seven days’ notice in advance or a shorter period as may be reasonable in the circumstances of her intention to proceed on maternity leave on a specific date and to return to work thereafter.

The notice shall be in writing. A female employee who seeks to exercise any of the rights mentioned in this section shall, if required by the employer, produce a certificate as to her medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner or midwife.

No female employee shall forfeit her annual leave entitlement on account of having taken her maternity leave. A male employee shall be entitled to two weeks paternity leave with full pay.

# Sick leave:
After two consecutive months of service with his employer, an employee shall be entitled to sick leave of not less than seven days with full pay and thereafter to sick leave of seven days with half pay, in each period of twelve consecutive months of service, subject to production by the employee of a certificate of incapacity to work signed by a duly qualified medical practitioner or a person acting on the practitioner’s behalf in charge of a dispensary or medical aid center.

For an employee to be entitled to sick leave with full pay the employee shall notify or cause to be notified as soon as is reasonably practicable his employer of his absence and the reasons for it.

For the purposes of “full pay” includes wages at the basic rate excluding deductions from the wages allowable. The twelve continuous months of service shall be deemed to commence on the date of the employment of the employee and on such subsequent anniversary dates of employment. An employer shall have the right to place all his employees on an annual cycle of an anniversary date falling on a day to be determined by the employer.

# State minimum salary:
Kenya’s minimum wage rate is set by the government by location, age and skill level; the lowest urban minimum wage was 10,107.10 shillings per month, and the lowest agricultural minimum wage for unskilled employees was 2,536 shillings per month, excluding housing allowance. Kenya’s minimum wage was last changed in May 2015.

# Employee dismissal:
A contract of service not being a contract to perform specific work, without reference to time or to undertake a journey shall, if made to be performed in Kenya, be deemed to be—

  • where the contract is to pay wages daily, a contract terminable by either party at the close of any day without notice;
  • where the contract is to pay wages periodically at intervals of less than one month, a contract terminable by either party at the end of the period next following the giving of notice in writing; or
  • where the contract is to pay wages or salary periodically at intervals of or exceeding one month, a contract terminable by either party at the end of the period of twenty-eight days next following the giving of notice in writing.

If an employee who receives notice of termination is not able to understand the notice, the employer shall ensure that the notice is explained orally to the employee in a language the employee understands.

Nothing affects the right:

  • of an employee whose services have been terminated to dispute the lawfulness or fairness of the termination; or
  • of an employer or an employee to terminate a contract of employment without notice for any cause recognised by law.

An employee whose contract of service has been terminated shall be entitled to service pay for every year worked, the terms of which shall be fixed. This section shall not apply where an employee is a member of:

  • a registered pension or provident fund scheme under the Retirement Benefits Act;
  • a gratuity or service pay scheme established under a collective agreement;
  • any other scheme established and operated by an employer whose terms are more favorable than those of the service pay scheme established under this section; and
  • the National Social Security Fund.
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