As the world matches on into the uncharted territory created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the dreaded monster continues to receive sporadic reactions from all the three arms of the Kenyan Government. While the executive, through the Presidency and Ministry of Health, keeps spewing out one administrative directive after another to control the fast spread of the deadly virus, Parliament has been busy crafting ad hoc legislation to give legal effect to those directives.
Nairobi is the gateway into East Africa and is the largest business hub in the region. It is one of the preferred destinations for multinationals and international non-governmental organizations seeking to establish a presence in Africa.
The legal framework governing labor and immigration issues is typically one of the topics that entrants, who are new to the region seek advice on. Equally, established businesses require ongoing practical legal guidance on labor-related issues to avoid expensive and sometimes complicated litigation with former employees.
Our strong and well-resourced team is well known for providing solution-based legal counsel to both local and foreign clients. From recruitment to retirement, our team ensures that clients are well covered to avoid the usual pitfalls arising from misinformed decisions and actions against employees which may end up in costly litigation.
Experience has included advising on:
- All aspects of labour/employment laws in Kenya and providing legal opinions.
- The localization of employment and drafting documents such as employment contracts, human resource policies and manuals, staff handbooks, termination documents and transfer of employee documents in the event of restructuring, buy-outs or mergers.
- Outsourcing and consultant/independent consultant arrangements and preparing/reviewing the relevant contracts.
- Termination options, including the disciplinary process, termination documents and terminal dues.
- Employee share option plans or schemes.
- Retirement benefits.
- Labour-related litigation.
- Ranked Tier 1 in Employment (The Legal 500 2019)
- Ranked Band 1 in Employment (Chambers & Partners 2019)
Although the arrival of the coronavirus in Kenya was inevitable and had been foretold since the beginning of the year, it is fair to say that when it finally hit the country in mid-March employers and employees alike were ill-prepared for its full impact.
In this time of growing uncertainty, we recognize that many of our clients are experiencing significant business disruption and facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. We are carefully monitoring global developments, and adhering to recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Government of Kenya. In response to this, we have put in place business continuity plans to ensure that we can continue to seamlessly provide our services remotely should the need arise.
The Government, through the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning published Legal Notice Number 88 of 2019 dated 13th June, 2019 which amended the Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefits Schemes) Regulations, 2000 (the “Regulations”). Regulation 19 (5) (a) (ii) was amended to read as follows: “the scheme rules shall provide that: where a member leaves employment after vesting of his benefits but before attaining the specified early retirement age, he may opt for payment of his own contribution where he is a member of a defined contribution scheme.
The Government of Kenya through the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning has, through Legal Notice Number 88 of 2019 dated 13th June, 2019 (copy attached for your reference), amended the Retirement Benefits (Occupational Retirement Benefits Schemes) Regulations, 2000 (the “Regulations”).