23 March 2021 by

Impact of COVID-19 on employment in Kenya: Issues for consideration

Following the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of COVID-19 as a global pandemic and the reported first case of a COVID-19 patient in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta on 15th March 2019 issued several directives.

Amongst them, a call to employers encouraging them to allow employees, where possible, to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical and essential services.

This particular directive, together with the WHO recommendation to persons likely to contact the virus to self-quarantine for at least 14 days has caused great concerns amongst employers and employees. Some employers in adherence to the directive and as a legislative preventative measure under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, have sent their employees home indefinitely. This has prompted us to articulate various legal concerns that emanate from implications of the directive on
employment contracts, as enumerated in the various labour laws.

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