Domestic work plays a pivotal role in driving the country’s economic growth and development. The International Labor Organization defines domestic work as work done in or for a household(s). On the basis of this definition, domestic workers in Kenya include; nannies, caretakers, gardeners, cooks, cleaners, drivers, security officers among others.
The current statistics in Kenya shows that there are about two million domestic workers, quite a number. It is against this background that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (Article 41) and the Employment Act (2007) guaranteed every worker favorable labor practices including reasonable working conditions. This means enhancing their safety, guaranteeing access to health & social security, and importantly, improving their standards of living by paying commensurate remuneration. The fact further emphasizes the following: i)At least twenty one (21) days annual leave; ii)At least seven (7) days on full pay and seven (7) days on half pay sick leave; iii) At least ninety (90) days maternity leave and fourteen (14) days Paternity leave; iv) At least one (1) day res time within a seven (7) day period; overtime pay; and, (v) and Remuneration must not be less than the prescribed minimum wage.
Nonetheless, challenges abound. For instance, they work for more than eight (8) years without extra pay, social security is a tall order, including other forms of human rights violation.
Employers need to comply with provisions of the Employers Act otherwise risk a fine of fifty thousand Kenyan shillings (50,000) or six months imprisonment. Critical is to factor in or deduct statutory deductions like Pay As You Earn (PAYE), National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) It’s important to factor in that Statutory deductions such as Pay As You Earn, failure to which the employer risks incurring a monthly penalty amounting to five times the contribution.
Should an employee’s rights be infringed upon, the law provides that, one lays a complaint with the labour office or lodge a complaint with the Industrial Court.