By Lilian Wamaitha
There are several ways that an employment contract can be terminated. One of them is giving a notice while the other is by paying in lieu of notice.
What then does the Kenyan law say about termination notices?
Kenyan Law on Notice period
According to Section 35 of the Employment Act 2007, the notice period is determinant of the duration after which the employee’s salary is paid.
For instance, if you are paid every week, the minimum notice period you should give is of one week, while those paid monthly, should give a one month notice.
Based on this, if your salary is computed on a daily rate but is paid at the end of the month, the one month notice period still applies in this case.
The exception comes when the employment contract is provided for a period that is longer than what Section 35 gives in which case the provisions of the employment contract apply.
For instance, CEOs are required to give between 3 to 6 months’ notice.
Importance Of Notice Period According To Kenyan Law
What is the importance of giving notice before terminating employment instead of just not showing up for work one day?
The general importance of giving notice is that it allows for a smooth handing over of roles and company property by the said employee.
Here are other benefits of giving notice that most people don’t know.
1. Waiver of the notice
Section 35 of the Employment Act states that where notice is given, the employer can waiver the notice as long as he/ she pays the employee for the notice period.
2. Payment in lieu of notice by employee
Section 36, requires either the employer or employee to pay the other in lieu of serving the notice period.
What happens however where the employee wants to pay in lieu but the employer insists that the said employee work for all or part of the duration of the notice period?
When this happens, a compromise should be reached between the two parties where the employee is allowed to leave after proper handover and clearing from the different departments is done.
On the other hand, the contract should state in clear details that the employer has a right to require the employee to work for the duration of the notice period and will not pay anything until the proper handing over and clearing is done.
3. Using your leave days as part of the notice period
Where termination is done by the employee, he/she can choose to use their leave days as the notice period.
However, if it is the employer who terminates employment you cannot use your leave days as notice period. Such decision should however be tales with the consent of the employee.
According to the Industrial court, it has always upheld the fact that leave days should be taken voluntarily for rest and should not be in any way converted for work purposes.
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