All employers and their employees must know about maternity leave in the workplace in Kenya including maternity allowance, maternity rights, paid maternity leave.
So how does one become eligible for maternity leave other than the obvious of getting pregnant?
Section 29 of Employment Act, 2007 provides that a female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave on full pay if she gives not less than seven days written a notice in advance, or a shorter period as may be reasonable in the circumstances, of her intention to proceed on maternity leave. A female employee who seeks to exercise her right to maternity leave shall, if required by the employer, produce a certificate as to her medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner or midwife.
The Employment Act requires that an employer has to ensure sufficient availability of proper medicines for a worker during illness and, if possible, medical attendance should also be provided during serious illness. The workers covered under the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act are entitled to medical benefits in the case of hospitalization. Pregnancy-specific benefits are not provided under the Act.
How many days of maternity leave is an employee entitled to?
A female employee is entitled to three months maternity leave in addition to any period of annual leave she is entitled to, and sick leave if she happens to fall sick during her time of confinement and with the consent of the employer. However, note that Saturday is counted as well.
Is there any limit on the number of times that an employee can take maternity leave?
No. The law does not set a limit on maternity leave. But the minimum is 3 months unless you agree otherwise with your employer.
Now I’m sure you are curious about paternal leave right? What about paternity leave?
The law allows a male employee two weeks paternity leave with full pay. And it cannot be extended without salary deduction.
Please make sure you always have this on your contract especially if you are married.