On 8th April 2022, the president assented into law the Employment Amendment Act. The amendment seeks to address the general terms of the contract of service in the employment sector.
Most importantly, section 9 of the act has been amended to introduce new provisions with regard to the recruitment of employees into employment. The new provisions stipulate that employers should not require prospective employees to provide any clearance or compliance certificates that require payment to be made before their issuance unless the employer issues the employee with a job offer. This means that no job applicant should have compliance certificates requested from them at the point of applying for a job. When the employer presents an employment offer to the applicant, they can then require the employee to present various clearance certificates. If the applicant is unable to provide clearance certificates, the employer is well within his right to withdraw the employment offer.
Further, the Act permits the employer to withdraw the offer of employment if he or she is not satisfied with the clearance certificates presented by the employee. However, a job applicant for a state office may be required to provide compliance or clearance certificates at any time in the recruitment or approval process.
The clearance certificates envisaged under this Act include but are not limited to, a certificate from Ethics and Corruption Commission, a certificate from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), a certificate from Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), and further, a certificate from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). Public entities charged with this task under chapter 6 of the constitution have been mandated to issue the certificates within 7 days of request by the applicant or reject the request within the same period.
Research done by the Parliamentary Budget Office revealed that public institutions have been receiving over Sh750 million annually in clearance certificate fees. Citizens seeking jobs in Kenya have had to incur enormous costs in their pursuit of jobs, in other words, they pay to get jobs so that they can make money. This law seeks to make sure that job seekers do not incur costs while they are out seeking jobs.
JKUAT LEGAL CLINIC