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Sh (KES)

Work Hours


Kenya is located in east Africa, where its coastline runs along the Indian Ocean. Kenya is an English-speaking country; however, much of the population speaks Swahili, with various dialects native to certain regions. Kenya is one of the largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agriculture, financial services, and tourism are the most signficant industries in Kenya. It has a large and skilled labor force, with one of the highest literacy rates in the region.

Employment contracts in Kenya can be either oral or written and for an indefinite or fixed term. A written contract is required for any work that exceeds three months. Employment contracts must be in the language of the employee. If the employee is illiterate, the contract must be explained to the employee in a language they understand.

Amendments to the employment contract including but not limited to leave and other benefits, payment methods and work location, must be in writing and provided to the employee within a month of the change. Employers are required to keep a copy of an employee's files for five years after termination.

The standard workweek in Kenya varies by industry but is between 40 hours per week and no more than 52 hours per week over six days. Employees who work at night can work up to 60 hours a week. Night work hours are from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Employees age 16 years or younger can work up to 36 hours a week.

Regular day time working hours and overtime hours together cannot exceed 116 hours over a two week period. Night work hours and overtime hours together cannot exceed 144 hours over a two-week period. Overtime is paid at 150% of the basic rate on weekdays and at 200% of the basic rate on Sundays and public holidays. Employees receive one day of rest after six days of working.

Employees receive 14 days of paid sick leave in Kenya after two consecutive months of service. Employees must provide a medical certificate. The first seven days are fully paid if the employee has at least two months of service. The remaining days are paid at 50%.

Female employees receive three months of fully paid maternity leave in Kenya. Employers can extend maternity leave. Male employees receive two weeks of paid paternity leave.

Kenya has a national minimum wage. Different sectors have their own minimum wages in Kenya that are determined by sector specific factors. However, they may not set a minimum wage lower than the national minimum wage set by the government of Kenya. Bonuses in Kenya are common.

Employees receive 21 days of paid annual leave in Kenya after one year of service.

In Kenya, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Good Friday

  • Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Eid al-Fitr

  • Madaraka Day

  • Eid al-Adha

  • Huduma Day

  • Mashujaa Day

  • Diwali

  • Jamhuri Day

  • Christmas Day

  • Boxing Day

Kenya has a national healthcare system. Private insurance is recommended.

An employment contract for an indefinite duration can be terminated in Kenya by the employer or the employee. The notice period is up to 28 days and depends the on the interval at which the employee is paid: daily, less than one month, or monthly.

When an employer terminates an employee, it must pay any remuneration owed to the employee. Monthly paid employees may be eligible to receive severance in an amount that should be fixed by the employment contract, but some exceptions apply.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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