By Lilian Wamaitha
Do you know your rights as an employee? Do you know what you are entitled to in terms of working hours, over t6ime and whether or not you should be paid?
CAP 226 of the Kenyan Employment Act, in rights and duties and employment chapter 27 (2) states that notwithstanding subsection (1), an employee shall be entitled to at least one rest day in every period of seven days.
Other than setting the working hours for an employee, they should be in a manner that provides the employee a day off in a week.
Find out in this article what the Kenyan law says about working hours.
Find Out >>> Kenyan Law On Suspension Without Pay
The number of hours you should work?
The Kenyan Labour Law does not provide for a maximum number of hours that employees should work but there are sections in the law that provides for the maximum working hours of an employee.
Normally, the number of hours for work in a week that translate to a normal wage are 52 days and 60 days for those working night duties. In relation to that, the law states that every employee is entitles to at least a day of rest in every seven days.
What is overtime and must you be paid?
The Kenyan law specifies for a number or normal working hours for employees. If the said employees, works for more hours than what is required of tem, normally, it is treated as an over time.
An employee who works over time shall be paid at the rates of one and one-half time hourly rate on weekdays, and at the rate of twice the basic hourly rate on Sundays and public holidays.
Also, in the case where an employee is to be called upon to work on a rest day or public holiday, such an employee shall be paid “at twice the normal hourly rate” for the hours worked.
Must Read >>> What The Kenyan Law Says About Leave Days In Kenya
Can you be forced into working overtime?
An employer can force and employee to work overtime depending on the situation, but this can be treated as contravening on the minimum employment conditions set by the Regulation of Wages and Condition of Employment (Cap 229) which the court will take as a criminal offence.
But in relation to this, an employer has the right to schedule overtime for his/her employees. Employers can therefore, ask their employees to work overtime for a reasonable amount of time to get their work done.
In some professions however, like nursing, firefighting and the likes, an employee can be called upon to work overtime if it is to save a life.
When can you not be paid for overtime?
Is it possible to work overtime and not be paid but instead be compensated with a day off?
The Kenyan Law does not provide specific regulations on when an employee cannot be paid for work done over time.
What about working on weekends and special days?
Section 27 of the Employment Act provides for working days whether weekends or on national holiday. It states that an employee shall be entitled however to a rest day for every seven days worked.
This means that, if for instance and employee gets Sundays off, the Saturday should be treated as a normal full working day.
Are you entitled to remuneration during public holidays?
The answer to this question is YES. The Kenyan law states that employees are entitled to full day’s pay of their remuneration for days worked on public or national holidays.
Where the said employee works on a normal rest day as well as public holidays, the employer should pay double their wage rate in addition to their normal wage.
However. Under Cap 229, regulations in the Hotels and Catering industry state that iof an employee works on public holidays he/she should have a full day off within 14 days in lieu of the overtime payment.
If however, the said employee is required to work on public holidays and they happen to fall on his/her rest day, the employer shall pay for the hours they work at twice their normal rates and give them a day off in lieu of his/her rest day.
When should payment be made?
Payment in regards to rest days or public holidays should be made after the day just like how remuneration for the employee is paid normally.
Knowing what you are entitled to is very important. In regards to what the Kenyan law says on working hours, it is basically as per the provisions of the Employment Act.
The writer is a Communications & Digital Marketing Officer at Career Point Kenya. Have any questions regarding Employment Laws In Kenya? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com