LABOUR

Employers compelled to file staff returns to new state agency

It has granted employees a grace period of up to July 8 to file employee details for the year ended Dec 31, 2018.

In Summary

• Employers who fail  to do so risk being slapped with Sh100,000 fine or six-month imprisonment or both.

Labour CS Ukur Yatani wants nurses to give conciliation efforts a chance. /COURTESY
Labour CS Ukur Yatani wants nurses to give conciliation efforts a chance. /COURTESY

Employers must now notify a newly created state agency of any vacancies, abolished posts and termination of employments.

The National Employment Authority (NEA) in a public notice  informs employers that its mandated under section 76-81 of the Employment Act 2007 to collect the data.

According to a public notice published in a local daily on Wednesday, the agency cited Section 76-81 of the  that compels employers to do so, failure which risk being slapped with Sh100,000 fine, a six-month jail term or both. 

"Employers are required to keep to a register regarding the name, age, sex, occupation, date of employment, nationality and level of education and file return for each year,’’NEA said.

It has granted employees a grace period of up to July 8 to file employee details for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Formed two months ago by president Uhuru Kenyatta, NEA, which falls under the Labor Ministry intends to  identify vacancies and connect potential job seekers.

The body provides for a comprehensive institutional framework for: employment management; enhancement of employment promotion interventions; and increasing access to employment.

It is also part of the plan by the government to export one million jobs in the next three years in its bid to reduce high unemployment level in the country.

Mid last month, Labor CS Ukur Yatani said the government is set to sign a bilateral agreement framework for Kenyans to work abroad, which will extensively address their welfare.

He said that Kenya is mainly targeting countries with a deficit of skilled workers such the UAE, Jordan, and Canada.

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has welcomed the move by NEA, but insists that sensitisation be done to encourage voluntary compliance by employers rather than using the threat of penalties.

 

‘’We support need for the employment data NEA is seeking to collect. This will help in human resource planning and skills forecasting. The challenge is how to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on employers,’’ FKE Jacqueline Mugo said.

She added that the country needs centralised system of data collection and reporting rather than the multiplicity of institutions requiring employers to make periodic returns to various state agencies.

A human resource expert Samson Osero however thinks the data collection and setting up of NEA will do little to address high unemployment in the country.

‘’Instead of strengthening existing institutions that support job creation, the architects of NEA may want to collect unemployment statistics for non-existing jobs,’’ Osero said.

He added that the overhaul of legislation and policies that impede small and medium enterprise development will be a good start towards solving the unemployment problem.