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Understanding Kenya’s Employee Benefits

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For those in the diaspora wondering what the average benefits package might look like once you take on a job in Kenya, below are some things to consider:

  1. You have a choice between public and private insurance. The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is a public and the primary insurance that works to provide comprehensive support for all diseases for Kenyan citizens. Membership is mandatory for all salaried employees with premiums based on income. Majority contribute between KES 30 and KES 320 monthly. The primary policy also covers spouses, children under 18, students (even above the age of 18), and family members with disabilities. Under this insurance, attending a government hospital (Category A) comes with no co-pay / cover limit. Private mission hospitals (Category B) and private hospitals (Categories C) have special cover limit, after which you have to pay the difference. You could also get private insurance from your employer with your premiums determining the type of services you can access, your co-pay / cover limit and who you can add to your policy.

Under the Employee Act:

  1. Maternity leave is 3 months with full pay. This can be more flexible depending on your employer.
  2. Employees have 21 paid vacation days. Unless otherwise discussed, you have “at least two uninterrupted working weeks.”
  3. Sick leave kicks in after two months of employment. With 7 days of full pay and 7 more days of half-pay for every year worked. An employee has to have a “certificate of incapacity to work. This is signed by a duly qualified medical practitioner” or an equivalent.

To learn more read the Employee Act here and learn more about the NHIF here.