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FAQs on the Termination of Employment via Redundancy Process in Kenya

By 23 Jul 2021Sep 5th, 2021No Comments

FAQ’s

Termination of Employment via Redundancy Process

These questions are frequently asked on the redundancy process in Kenya and the attendant answers guide Employers and Employees alike.

What is the Definition of Redundancy under Kenyan Law?

  • Redundancy is the termination of employment at the initiative of the employer, through no fault of the employee and which is brought about by either abolition of the job, superfluity of the job or loss of employment.

What is a Fair or Valid Redundancy Process in Kenya?

  • The law on the termination of employment including the redundancy process is contained in the Employment Act of Kenya and the International Labour Organisation, Convention on Termination of Employment to which Kenya is a signatory. The Employer must issue a notice of intent to declare redundancy outlining the reasons for redundancy (also called a redundancy letter) which runs for  a minimum of 30 days. After the minimum 30 days have lapsed, the employer may then go ahead and issue a termination notice, notifying the employee that their employment will shortly be terminated as per the terms of the employment contract.

Should Employers write Up a Formal Redundancy Policy?

  • Certainly, Employers should document a precise, written down redundancy policy setting out clearly all the steps to follow; and documentation they should always prepare and store pursuant to any redundancy. The point here is to avert unfair treatment of affected employees as well as to provide a trail of evidence if the employer is sued by an aggrieved employee. It goes without saying that the policy should strictly be adhered to.

When does Redundancy Constitute Unfair Termination of Employment?

  • Employers set themselves up for unfair termination claims when they fail to follow due process as stipulated in the redundancy laws applicable in Kenya.

Redundancy is unfair when:

  1. The redundancy procedure under law is not strictly followed;
  2. The employee is unfairly discriminated against; or
  3. There are no reasonable grounds to terminate employment due to redundancy, that is, the reasons for redundancy are unfair or not genuine.

How Much Redundancy Pay am I Entitled to?

  • Redundancy pay is calculated based on the formula that you get a minimum of 15 days’ pay for each year worked.

Benefits of Redundancy?

  • Redundancy often benefits employees when macroeconomic conditions in Kenya are such that the Employer Company is unable to turn a profit and therefore cannot sustain the continued employment of certain employees e.g., during this coronavirus period (2020/2021). Redundancy also benefits the employer when the employer is contemplating a business restructuring and it will no longer be efficient or necessary to keep certain job roles within the organizational structure.

Seminal Cases on Redundancy in Kenyan Case Law?

  • Kenya Airways Limited v Aviation & Allied Workers Union Kenya & 3 Others [2014] on the grounds for redundancy and Thomas De La Rue (K) Ltd vs David Opondo Omutelema [2013] on the procedure to be followed during a redundancy.

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