Parents who adopt children will enjoy fully paid leave after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the Employment (Amendment) Bill of 2019.
The law compels employers to give a one-month paid leave to the adoptive parents.
The changes, however, exclude parents of children born through surrogacy after President Kenyatta declined the provision on grounds that Kenya lacks a substantive legal and regulatory framework to protect all parties within the surrogacy arrangement.
Kenya’s law allows a fully paid, two-week paternity break for fathers and a three-month maternity leave for those who nurse their own pregnancies.
Many companies frown upon these breaks, viewing them as an additional labour cost that sometimes forces them to hire temporary workers.
The head of State also signed into law the Business Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2021 which amends several statutes to ease doing business.
Among them is changes to the Small Claims Court Act, 2016, which fast-tracks the handling of business disputes valued at no more than Sh200,000 by providing a sixty-day timeline for adjudication of the disagreements.
The Small Claims Court — which handles cases valued at no more than Sh200,000 — is one of the reforms that the Judiciary has implemented in recent years to cut backlog.
The court has jurisdiction to determine any civil claim relating to a contract for sale and supply of goods or services, a contract relating to money held and received, liability in offence in respect of loss or damage caused to any property or for the delivery or recovery of movable property, compensation for personal injuries and set-off and counterclaim under any contract.
Other laws amended are the Law of Contract Act (Cap. 23), Industrial Training Act (Cap. 237), Stamp Duty Act (Cap. 480), and National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, National Social Security Fund Act, 2013, Companies Act, 2015, and Insolvency Act, 2015.